It has been a little over a year since the signing of the Mostar Agreement between the SDA and the HDZ, and Covic’s ultimatum that mid-June this year is the deadline for performing a reform of the Election Law.
On June 17th, 2020, Bakir Izetbegovic and Dragan Covic signed the Mostar Agreement, by which they agreed on new election rules and a statute for the City of Mostar. Also, the principles according to which the Election Law will be changed have been agreed upon. Dragan Covic used the agreement to set an ultimatum to the SDA that changes must be made by mid-June this year, but the deadline has expired and Covic is running out of ideas.
Blockades of institutions, Croatia’s diplomatic offensive, strategic cooperation with Dodik, as well as hidden or clear threats did not bring any concrete result to the HDZ, despite the fact that the SDA has never been in a worse situation. In that sense, a few days ago, the President of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), Marinko Cavara, agreed to phantom negotiations between the entities and the three constituent peoples, initiated by Milorad Dodik, which are actually just another meaningless acts. The goal is to present BiH as an empty shell, composed of tribes and entities, whose interests in that sense no one represents.
What is commonly called “negotiations” in our country is nothing but a struggle for the favor of the international community. We could call true negotiations the aspiration of the two sides to find a middle ground, not the current situation in which Covic actually only offers different models, essentially identical in terms of the division of power between the Croatian and Bosnian political factors, which gives him everything he wants.
“The minimum is to have the legitimate representation,” a sentence regularly uttered by HDZ representatives, clearly shows their willingness to negotiate.
Covic, despite the self-confidence he shows, can now only start a complete blockade of state institutions and try to prevent the holding of elections. HDZ has lost control over the Central Election Commission (CEC), which will play a crucial role in 2022, in the case that no solution is reached in the implementation of election results. That is why Dodik and Covic will probably block the adoption of the budget in the hope of preventing the elections and preserving the position of the HDZ since that is unquestionably the primary goal of Serbian politics.
In that sense, the explanation of the former secretary of the SNSD, Rajko Vasic, best explains that type of cooperation.
“BiH is going nowhere. Neither towards NATO nor the European Union (EU)… Serbs, Srpska, and Serbia should get rid of the path to the EU and get rid of the nonsense that says the EU has no alternative. BiH can disintegrate peacefully. It will peacefully disappear, it rots inside like a plum or a plum tree. Good canopy, good tree, but it just stops giving fruit. When you knock it down, it rots inside. Srpska needs to be patient. It will last for decades. It needs to be stabilized and democratized from within, to attack unconstitutional, non-Dayton, unitarian institutions every day. Herceg Bosna should be advocated as much as necessary and possible. It is important to achieve the 2: 1 ratio against Sarajevo,” told Vasic.
In the last year, Dragan Covic only managed to legitimize Zeljko Komsic’s policy through blockades, blackmail, and ultimatums. Conceited by the current political force, the lack of any opposition threat, the indulgence of part of the international community, and the underestimation of the Bosnian political factor, the question is whether he actually wanted to negotiate a compromise. Therefore, it only remains to be seen what moves he will make in the following period.
If we look at all the above, it can be concluded that BiH is potentially threatened by a major political crisis, which, like many others so far, will not be resolved by some rotten compromise. At the height of the crisis, the international community will use its strength to decide the outcome of the political match, and in this regard, the struggle to preserve the position of the Bosnian political factor is being waged in Washington and Brussels, Klix