Plenković: Komšić's election is neither good for Croats nor Bosnia-Herzegovina



Zeljko Komsic of Democratic Front (DF) attends a news conference where he declared himself the winner of the Croat seat of the Tri-partite Bosnian Presidency in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina October 7, 2018. REUTERS/Fedja Krvavac

Željko Komšić

One day after elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, majority of Croatian politicians unwillingly accepted the news that Željko Komšić convincingly won in the race for Croatian member of BH Presidency. Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković clearly stated this when he said that the election is not good for Croats or BH.

"Again, thanks to the positive legal framework in BH, we are in the situation where members of one constitutive people in the Federation elect Presidency representative of another constitutive people," noted Croatian PM.

Plenković clearly stated that he is sorry Dragan Čović was not elected, commending him for making significant progress on the path towards EU membership in his last term with Croatia's help. "This fact should have been taken into account and the scenario repeating is not a good thing."

Equal rights

PM Plenković and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg discussed elections in BH in Zagreb, among other.

"Joint analysis of processes in our neighborhood is important - Macedonia, relations between Kosovo and Serbia as well as general elections in BH yesterday."

Commenting on elections in BH yesterday, Plenković said that Zagreb will continue cooperating with BH institutions and developing good relations while advocating for the principle of equal rights of all constitutive peoples. "We have many ties with BH and all our moves, especially during this Government's term, were very friendly and open towards BH and its institutions. All political actors and parties in BH must be aware that Croatia is their staunchest and most sincere ally among EU member states."

Ensuring rights

Speaker of Sabor Gordan Jandroković warned that election of Komšić is not good and added that we should find mechanisms that can secure rights of Croatian people. Chairman of the Sabor Foreign Policy Committee Miro Kovač noted that domination of national parties was apparent at elections in BH. "The Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) can be happy, but something we expected in a way happened - engineering in the Bosniak corps when it comes to election of Presidency representative of Croatian people," Kovač said for JUTARNJI LIST.

"Many Bosniaks voted for Željko Komšić in order to prevent election of Dragan Čović, who is an authentic representative of Croatian people in BH. When we look at municipalities, Komšić won in those with barely any Croats, like Goražde." Kovač claims that Croats will surely be frustrated after everything that has happened, but also stronger in a way as they will be stronger in the Parliament than ever. "They will be able to present themselves as victims to Europe and the world as well as say this is unjust and unconstitutional. If Croats are a constitutive people, it is not logical for other peoples to elect their representatives."

Kovač stressed that the Belgian model would be a better solution, where three regions and three language communities form their governments and parliaments irrespective of territory. "This model could be used in BH, which would allow Croats and Bosniaks to have their communities irrespective of territorial division, securing equal rights and preventing discrimination."


Miro Kovač is of the opinion that he is obliged to tell Europe and the world that Croats in BH do not have their legitimate representative in the Presidency. He noted that Croatian politics will have to take an active stance with regard to functioning of BH, which means that it cannot be based on unequal position of Croats.

Croatian Defense Minister Damir Krstičević said he is sorry Komšić was elected, rather than Čović, adding that it is not a good thing that majority people elected Croatian member of the Presidency.

"Complicated organization of BH includes coalitions on State level regardless of election results. The Government can be established only through proportionate representation of Bosniaks and Croats in legislative and executive bodies."

Prime Minister's response: Croatia is not violating international law

Several hours after Željko Komšić supported the lawsuit against Croatia over the planned construction of the Pelješac Bridge, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković reacted, stressing that the move does not present violation of international law as far as border demarcation goes. "There is the initial agreement on border demarcation signed by later Croatian President Franjo Tuđman and late President of BH Presidency Alija Izetbegović in 1999 which both sides are currently honoring and neither side questioned it application."

Plenković said that Croatia said everything that was to be said about the Pelješac Bridge and explained its position to the EU. "The Bridge must allow passage of all ships to Neum and from Neum without any problems. The claim that Croatia is preventing BH from using the port of Neum does not stand."