The statements Croatia’s President made as she addressed Bosnian Croats in the southern city of Mostar recently are only part of her election campaign, but are nevertheless not words that could come from any serious politician, the Bosniak member of the tripartite Presidency, Sefik Dzaferovic, said on Friday.
Croats in Bosnia also have citizenship of neighbouring Croatia, so they can vote at the upcoming election in Croatia.
"The retrograde forces to which Mrs. Grabar-Kitarovic obviously belongs favour something else - territorial and ethnic divisions. There will be no further divisions in Bosnia and Herzegovina," Dzaferovic said.
Grabar-Kitarovic told the crowd on Wednesday said she will always continue fighting for the Croat people in the country - most of all toward guaranteeing that they elect their own legitimate representatives in state institutions.
“I will never stop until Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina are ensured what belongs to them historically, politically and according to Bosnia’s Constitution. That is full equality and the realisation of all your rights as constituent peoples. Nobody else may elect the representatives for the Croat people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and those who believe that the Croat people will give up and disappear from Bosnia and Herzegovina are mistaken,” she said.
The Croatian President was referring to the fact that Zeljko Komsic was elected to the post of the Croat member of Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency. Croatian top officials, as well as top Bosnian Croat political leaders, argued that Komsic was not elected by Croats but by the numerically superior Bosniaks. They believe that the legitimate representative of Bosnian Croats is the leader of Grabar Kitarovic’s sister party in Bosnia, Dragan Covic.
"This is a statement made as part of an election campaign, she expects us to react and wants to acquire cheap political points. What hurts me personally is that Mrs. Kitarovic is not only a candidate for the president of Croatia, but also the current president of Croatia who has accused an entire nation of wanting to seize Bosnia and Herzegovina for itself, and serious politicians don’t do that. Serious politicians don't insult other peoples," Dzaferovic said.
He argued that the election law in Bosnia needs to be changed, but that the priority is to change it according to rulings by the European Court of Human Rights which would guarantee equality for all of Bosnia’s citizens, including those who do not belong to any of the three majority ethnic groups.
He was referring to a ruling by the European Court from 2009 which said that Bosnia’s constitution discriminates against minorities as no citizens other than members of the three majority ethnic groups may run for some top offices at the state level, including the tripartite Presidency.
“It is not up to Mrs. Grabar Kitarovic what we will do in Bosnia. We will shape our own destiny,” Dzaferovic stressed.