Bosnian Croat leader Dragan Covic is not being truthful when using a 2016 Constitutional Court ruling as a basis for his argument that the election of his political opponent on October 7 was illegitimate, the deputy leader of the Democratic Front (DF) told N1 on Wednesday.
“His (Covic’s) statements are worrying, and I think that we came to a point when we should not comment anymore,” Milan Dunovic said, speaking about a speech Covic gave on Wednesday.
“He lost his seat in the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and now he is afraid of losing his position as the leader of the HDZ,” he added, saying that this could happen because Covic did not achieve what he wanted.
Covic, who is the leader of the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ), lost his bid for reelection to the Bosnian Croat seat in the country’s tripartite Presidency to the left-leaning political opponent and DF leader Zeljko Komsic.
But he said Bosniaks elected Komsic to represent Croats, as the Election Law in the country allows them to do, which needs to be changed.
Komsic’s election was, according to Covic, illegitimate and unconstitutional.
“His campaign which was based on the Election Law was not valid. He talks of the legality and legitimacy of Komsic who was elected to the Presidency. Those claims don’t hold ground,” Dunovic said, adding that Covic is constantly basing his argumentation on a 2016 Constitutional Court ruling.
Covic on Wednesday said the election of Komsic contradicts a ruling in a case submitted by Bosnian Croat politician Bozo Ljubic, who had argued that the Croat influence in cantons with a majority Bosniak population was unfairly diminished in the selection of delegates and that it allows Bosniaks to elect the Croat member of the Presidency.
“We all know what representation is, what legality is, and what legitimacy is. Presidency members were never mentioned in this ruling. The members of the Presidency were elected legally, and his (Covic’s) statements should not be given too much attention,” Dunovic said.
But the HDZ leader had also said that the conditions for the forming of the government following the election were not met, which Dunovic said was a “lie”.
The 2016 ruling contained only a decision regarding the structure of the House of Peoples, but the election of the Presidency member was never mentioned, he said.
“That is being used for manipulation in order to draw attention to how his election loss is a result of the outvoting of Croats,” Dunovic said.
The same election law was in place when Covic won the election in 2014, he said, adding that Covic at that time said he was the legitimate representative.
“If we go a step further, we should check the census. How many Croats have voted for Covic? He did not even get more than half of their votes,” he said, adding that Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs had voted for Komsic.
He also said that Covic got a lot of votes from places where Bosnian Serb returnees live in the semi-autonomous Federation (FBiH) entity, adding that this was contradicting Covic’s own argument.
There is no political will in Bosnia to meet the ultimatums the HDZ is setting, which is why there were no changes to the Election Law, Dunovic said.
“They (HDZ) want a member of the Presidency to exclusively come from the HDZ, which is anti-civilizational,” he concluded.