There is no reason why we should not build our future without the three nationalist leaders - the Bosniak Bakir Izetbegovic, Bosnian Croat leader Dragan Covic and Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, and their parties, the leader of the main opposition party in Bosnia's Serb-dominated Republika Srpska (RS) entity, Branislav Borenovic told N1's Amir Zukic on Wednesday.
“Why not establish cooperation with someone from the Federation (FBiH) entity who also won the votes, and why not reach a consensus which would set aside all previous tensions and try to make a new kind of healthy competition,” the leader of the Party of Democratic Progress (PDP) said when asked about negotiations with three main ethnic-oriented parties in the country - the Bosniak Democratic Action Party (SDA), Croat Democratic Union (HDZ BiH) and the main Serb party – the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD).
Zukic asked this following statements from several opposition politicians from the RS who said they might begin talks to form the state-level government after the said three parties failed to agree on the basic programme principles over the past year.
Since the October 2018 general election, the main election winners in the country never managed to agree on the basic principles on which to form the government and continue the necessary reforms on Bosnia's EU accession process.
It is high time that somebody did something that fits a democratic country, Borenovic pointed out.
"If you don't have the majority, we'll be patient to wait for us to build a new majority of the future and to understand that relations can't be built on tensions, conflicts, and political wars, but on the respect of each other, for Banja Luka and Sarajevo to achieve cooperation in which everyone will do what the Constitution expects of them,” he said, adding that the three ethnic-oriented parties indeed are cooperating, but in that they are keeping the country within their claws.
Asked whether Bosnia will hold the 2022 general elections with the government in the so-called technical mandate, meaning will the previous government remain in office until the new election, Borenovic said that such a thing is quite possible.
"It is very possible. It is the key issue for those who decided to form a government immediately after the election. They had the inaugural session soon after the election and elected both houses, and then said 'We are the government and we are starting to form the Council of Ministers' and then they stopped,” Borenovic recalled.
Speaking about his views regarding Bosnia and Herzegovina, in light to claims from some Serb politicians like Milorad Dodik who is known for his anti-Bosnian views and statements lake the those that Serbs in the RS cannot wait for the day of their self-determination and secession from Bosnia, Borenovic said that Bosnia belongs to all the Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats, as well as others living in it.
“Bosnia is mine because I'm a Serb coming from the RS and I have the right to live in it, to be asked about it and to decide and insist that the RS be the leader in this country,” Borenovic noted.
When asked about NATO, Bosnia's NATO accession process and cooperation with the alliance, which is also a hot topic in the country, most notably due to Dodik's objections to the accession and intensification of the cooperation, he said that people in Bosnia must be ready to talk about this issue.
“But the accession is so far away that it's pointless to even talk about it. But it's realistic to talk about the cooperation with the alliance,” Borenovic told Zukic.
Speaking about his position regarding the 1995 Srebrenica genocide when over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were executed by Bosnian Serb forced after they took over that eastern-Bosnian town, Borenovic said:
“A horrible crime took place there, which was characterised as you said it, but it can't be a label for an entire people or for the RS. Everyone in this country is individually responsible in this country, no matter the crime and courts must prove that guilt.”
“I expect that many court processes will show that there was a civil war in this country, where crimes have been committed on all sides without one nation or entity being held accountable. The responsibility must be individual, especially for the most serious crimes," Borenovic concluded.