Bosnian Croat leader Dragan Covic is only a tool of the politics of Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, sociology professor Slavo Kukic told N1 on Monday about the alliance between the two politicians.
Dodik is the leader of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) and will be swapping his post of President of the Serb-dominated semi-autonomous Republika Srpska (RS) entity in Bosnia for the position of the Bosnian Serb member of the state Presidency after the results of the October General Election are implemented.
He has been advocating for the secession of the RS from Bosnia for years.
Covic, who is the leader of the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ), the main Bosnian Croat ethnic-oriented party in the country, has been advocating for Bosnia being composed of ethnic-majority electoral units, implying a structure similar to another entity for Bosnian Croats in the country.
“Based on experience, I do not believe that their cooperation can be for the good of this country,” Kukic said.
According to the academic, “it seems that Dodik is the one leading, and Covic is only an instrument of his politics,” and while it stays that way, “Dodik will remain Covic’s partner.”
Their cooperation is not in the interest of Serbs or Croats, he said, adding that such a narrative is only shielding their joint private interests.
He pointed out that the US blacklisted Dodik and said that Covic “anticipates that he could also end up like that.”
The US has in 2017 imposed sanctions against Dodik for obstructing the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia.
Kukic said that Covic changed his stance toward the west and now he is saying that Western powers should not interfere in the internal relations in Bosnia.
He concluded that Covic's “love for the West has decreased and that he could seek a partner in Moscow.”
“I believe that Dodik is hurrying to form the government as soon as possible, but Covic is not, because the situation in the country suits him,” Kukic said, adding that if there is ever a split between them, it will be because of that fact.
There are two critical interests for which Covic needs Dodik’s help, the professor alleged.
“One of them is a Constitutional reconstruction of the country that would ensure him unquestionable power, and the other is (pushing for) an election law which would make the HDZ’s rule permanent,” Kukic said.
The professor expressed hope that Bosnian Croats will abandon Covic and his party.
He called Covic and Dodik the “most damaging duo” for Bosnia, while those who want good for the country are “a silent mass of liberally-oriented citizens,” he said.