Bosnia Presidency member: Ethnicity does not provide us with more or less rights

Bosnia Presidency member: Ethnicity does not provide us with more or less rights

Bosnia Presidency member: Ethnicity does not provide us with more or less rights Izvor: Fena/Predsjedništvo BiH

Representing one ethnicity is unknown to me and even the Constitution does not recognize that, the Croat member of Bosnia's tripartite Presidency Zeljko Komsic told Belgrade media, stressing that he represents all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“When I took an oath I took a duty to take care of all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In this context, I am not interested in who is a Croat, a Serb or a Bosniak, they are all the fellow citizens I am supposed to take care of. This is the essence of my disagreement with apartheid political powers in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Komsic in an interview with Belgrade daily 'Danas'.

“I believe that we are all entitled to same rights, that our ethnic affiliation or religious beliefs cannot provide us with more or less of those rights, that all of us must have the same opportunities in this society,” he added.

Bosnia has a three-member state Presidency with each member representing one of three major ethnic groups, the Bosniaks, the Serbs and the Croats.

But the election of the Croat member Komsic was strongly objected by the nationalist Croat Democratic Union (HDZ BiH), whose leader and candidate Dragan Covic lost to left-leaning Komsic.

They claim he was not elected by the Croat people but thanks to the votes of Bosniaks, assessing his election illegitimate.

However, according to the current electoral legislation and the Constitution, Zeljko Komsic's election was both legal and constitutional.

“The people I am fighting against, and who managed to convince some in Sarajevo in his idea, believe that some have less value because of their religion, that we should divide and build borders, that they are guaranteed power in every election. Their ideas belong to the centuries behind us, that's why they won't succeed in their intention,” said Komsic.

Asked if he was convinced Bosnia would eventually join the NATO, he briefly replied “I know we will.”

Speaking of the recently held Sofia summit, where the leaders of the Western Balkan countries signed declarations on a common regional market, earlier discussed as 'mini-Schengen', Komsic said the idea has become much broader than the initial one.

“As we signed the declarations at the Sofia Summit, Bosnia and Herzegovina has entered a much more serious and quality matter than 'mini-Schengen'. We have something to offer and enter the common market, which means our entrepreneurs will have an open space to place their products, capital and services, alongside a very important element of free movement of people, where Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a sovereign state, see its own economic benefit,” he underlined.

Commenting on the presidential election in the USA and victory of Democratic candidate Joe Biden, the Presidency member reiterated claims about Biden's friendly relations with Bosnia. However, Komsic also recalled Bosnia enjoyed strong support of the Administration of current President Donald Trump, who strongly supported the delivery of Bosnia's Annual National Plan to the NATO HQ in Brussels.

“And we will never forget that because that's how we approached the last steps on Bosnia and Herzegovina's road to NATO. Bosnia and Herzegovina is on an unstoppable and sovereign path to NATO membership”, he added.

He believes that the resistance to Bosnia's NATO membership will be becoming weaker in the period lying ahead.

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