The dismissal of the Tuzla Canton Police Commissioner by the government indicates that cantonal authorities are not ready to respect the basic principles of good governance and that they failed to avoid exerting direct political control of the police, U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia Eric Nelson and the international administrator in the country, Valentin Inzko said in their joint statement on Friday.
“Officials serving set mandates in apolitical institutions like the police should not be removed simply because there is a change in the political constellation but should be evaluated against objective and professional standards,” the statement said. “Accountability and transparency are the building blocks of good governance and effective institutions that serve the public interest.”
Earlier on Friday, Tuzla Canton's government dismissed cantonal police Commissioner Dzevad Korman, citing “unsatisfactory results of his work while in office,” Tuzla Canton Interior Minister Sulejman Brkic said.
He dismissed claims that the Commissioner's dismissal was a political decision, but Korman said he will seek protection via court.
In November 2019, the US ambassador and the High Representative, in charge of overseeing the civilian implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement which ended the war in Bosnia, cautioned against actions that enable direct political control of the police, as meaningful independence and objectivity are essential to the proper functioning of public safety institutions.
They noted that repeated attacks on police independence by political authorities in Tuzla Canton show a deficit in commitment to professionalism.”
“Today’s decision by the Tuzla Canton government does not seem to have been carried out in the public’s interest. Procedural expedience is not the same as good governance, and public security and the safety of citizens should take precedence over political interests,” they concluded.