The leader of the Democratic Action Party of Croatia (SDA), Armin Hodžić, said on Sunday that the Bosniak minority in Croatia was dissatisfied with its status and that this was partly due to the fact that their MP Ermina Lekaj Prljaskaj was a poor representative of their interests in the Croatian Parliament.
“As representatives of the Bosniak minority in Croatia, we always point out that their status is very bad,” Hodžić told a press conference in Zagreb.
He noted that the Bosniaks are the second largest minority in Croatia, with over 31,500 people, but despite this they share their constituency with four other ethnic groups – Albanians, Macedonians, Montenegrins and Slovenians. In the 2015/2016 election, they lost the possibility of having their own representative in the Croatian Parliament, he added.
“A few years ago, the Bosniaks lost their voice in Croatia. They lost the possibility of articulating their views and interests and presenting them institutionally. In the current circumstances, the Bosniaks in Croatia are not a second-category but a third-category minority,” the SDA leader said.
Dissatisfied with the representation of the Bosniaks in the present parliament by independent MP Ermina Lekaj Prljaskaj, Hodžić said he would run for the position of Bosniak MP in the next parliamentary election in Constituency 12, which is designed for the ethnic minorities.
The chairman of the Bosniak Minority Council in Zagreb, Harun Omerbašić, criticized Lekaj Prljaskaj for the lack of interest, poor performance and avoiding communication, adding that despite that the doors of Bosniak minority representatives remained open to cooperation with her. “We take this opportunity to call on her to open the door of her office and start cooperating with legitimate representatives of the Bosniak minority in Croatia,” Omerbašić said.
Hodžić also commented on current relations between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, welcoming the statements by the Croatian state leadership that Croatia was Bosnia and Herzegovina’s greatest friend. He, however, noted that these statements should be “implemented in practice”, HINA reports.