The Chairman of Bosnia’s the tripartite Presidency, Milorad Dodik, argued in a letter to the German Chancellor and French President on Saturday that the participation of Bosnia’s prime minister at a meeting of Western Balkans leaders is “destabilising” since his mandate is technical because last October’s election results have not yet been implemented.
Dodik, the hardline Bosnian Serb leader, welcomed the idea of the meeting in Berlin but argued that Bosnia’s Presidency should represent the country and not prime minister Denis Zvizdic.
“Zvizdic doesn’t have the competency given by the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina to represent this country on such an important gathering,” Dodik wrote. “This destabilised the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and represents a direct breach of Bosnia’s Constitution,” he added.
Zvizdic’s mandate ended in October 2018 with the election, he wrote.
Bosnia’s Government - called the Council of Ministers - has not been formed yet mostly because of the bickering between the winning parties over the country’s intention to join NATO - something Bosnian Serbs now vehemently oppose.
Bosnia has previously pursued NATO membership but in recent years Bosnian Serb politicians have changed their mind. The next candidate for the prime minister comes from Dodik’s party which is strongly opposed to membership in the alliance and the Bosniak and Croat presidency members refuse to greenlight him.
“Even if we ignore these little issues regarding the legitimacy of Zvizdic, I need to point out the fact that the Council of Ministers, which Zvizdic is the Chairman of in a technical mandate, asked of the Bosnian Presidency to put up wired barriers and fences between Bosnia and Serbia because of the migrants who come to Bosnia from Serbia,” Dodik said.
He wrote that the Presidency rejected the request, arguing that it would produce huge political damage, would endanger the economic space and freedom of movement for capital and goods and would devolve Serbia’s efforts in tackling the migrant crisis.