Zeljko Komsic, the newly elected Presidency member in Bosnia from among the Croat people, said he expected the attacks against his election and contests of his legitimacy but that he was surprised by their intensity. He stressed, however, that he will be loyal to Bosnia, not Croatia.
"I’m not glad about what’s happening right now, but I’m surprised about the intensity of it all. I expected something similar, but not this intensity and hysteria," Komsic told N1’s Amir Zukic.
Speaking about his ethnicity, as reflected in the fact that he won the most votes for Bosnia’s Presidency member from among the Croat people, Komsic said he did not have to declare as Croat, he did it because he is a Croat.
"It is my choice and that’s how I was raised and I’m proud of that but I am mostly a citizen of this country. Being a Bosnian is equally mine as being a Croat," said the newly elected Presidency member.
Bosnia’s Presidency consists of three members, each coming from three constituent peoples in the country: Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats. After the recent general election in Bosnia, the new members are Zeljko Komsic, Sefik Dzaferovic from among the Bosniak people and Milorad Dodik, from among the Serb people.
However, Komsic's legitimacy is contested by all the major Croat parties in the country saying that his election was not legitimate because he was not elected by Croats, but by Bosniaks.
He then touched upon the term "legitimate representative" which is being used against him in contesting his election. Komsic said that the turnout in predominantly Croat areas was only 40 percent and that his main opponent Dragan Covic only got some 27 percent in those areas.
“What should we do with the votes he got from predominantly Serb areas? I don’t have a problem with that, let people vote for whomever they want," Komsic stressed and added that the people contesting his election should read the Bosnian Constitution once more.
He clarified his views on how a civic Bosnia should look like.
“I stand for a civic Bosnia and Herzegovina and that means: central figures of the law should be us as individuals. The state must ensure the protection of me as an individual and my dignity but it must also ensure that I’m fulfilling my obligations towards the country. When the state protects me as an individual, then it has protected everything that’s mine; me being a Croat, a Bosniak, a Roma, a faithful, an atheist, everything," Komsic clarified.
Then he stressed that he is only loyal to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
"I’m loyal to this country, not the Republic of Croatia. I love Croatia and I wish them all the best, but please excuse me – I love Bosnia the most. I can’t have two homelands, I can only be born in one country," the newly elected Presidency member added.
Speaking about the Presidency member from the Serb people, Milorad Dodik, he said he expects him to be rational and to make decisions through consensus. Being irrational and blocking decisions in the Presidency would go only so far.
Komsic also told Amir Zukic that his goal was to stop Covic’s policy of further dividing Bosnia and deviating its Constitution with the aim of creating a third entity in Bosnia. In doing so, Komsic said Covic directly helped him win the election.
The Democratic Front’s leader also stressed that Croatia would make a grave mistake if it started meddling into Bosnia’s issues because the EU would not look kindly on that.
"No one behaves like that in the EU. The Balkan standards don’t apply there. I highly doubt that Croatian authorities would impose the Balkan mentality onto the Brussels," Komsic concluded.