The crude reality of BiH was very vividly presented this past weekend, when this country filled the pages of world media because of two entirely different and incomparable events.
The gem of Herzegovina, Mostar, was in the center of world attention for umpteenth time this Saturday, when the World Championship of Red Bull Cliff Diving was held. The best world divers demonstrated their skills, more than 20.000 people gathered on the banks of the stunning Neretva River, and fascinating images went around the world.
This event passed without incidents and numerous tourists left Mostar with the most beautiful memories and smiles on their faces. With such great impressions, they left the same Mostar in which local elections will not be held for the second time in eight years; the same Mostar whose citizens have been deprived of their fundamental democratic right.
Unconstitutional referendum in Republika Srpska on January 9 was held this Sunday. It pushed the beautiful side of BiH to the second plan, bringing to the surface the reality of BiH politics. The darkest scenarios appeared in the regional media, changing from hour to hour. There will be war; there will be no war. BiH will split; BiH will not split.
Referendum in the RS brought nothing good to BiH. It brought harsh rhetoric from all sides, threats, and it jolted the judicial system and constitutional order of the country.
Given the current situation, one question clearly arises: What happens to BiH next?
Day after the referendum, the analysis of the leading geopolitical platform Stratfor states that deeply grounded ethnic tensions in BiH are not solved.
Political analyst Adnan Huskić explains that the current situation in BiH will reflect on investments as well.
“Anyone who is serious, who has money, does not even think about coming to BiH in the situation when you do not know what tomorrow brings in terms of legal certainty. In such conditions, no one want to enter the country for which you do not know if it will exist or not; the country whose existence is questionable,” Huskić said.
Huskić believes that no one can declare precisely on real implications of the referendum on BiH and economic situation in the country.
“We do not have analytical possibilities to estimate what the real damage of the referendum is, but a lot has been missed,” Huskić said.
Huskić thinks that the European path of BiH is not jeopardized, but that the EU is entirely ignoring this situation.
“They do not have elements, concrete mechanisms with which they would cope with this situation, and neither they are ready to do so. They do not want to solve BiH problems, but they want BiH to be one of the normal countries that strives for the EU, where they can apply pressure on political elites through conditioning. You want to become a member? You need to do this and that. Political elites do not actually do what the population wants,” Huskić says, adding that elections are an opportunity to say NO to such policy.