'Two-thirds of Croats didn't want to vote for Dragan Covic'

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Source: N1

Opposition MP said in the Croatian parliament on Wednesday that the results of the October 7 general election in Bosnia showed that two-thirds of Croats eligible to vote did not want to support Dragan Covic in the run for the country's tripartite presidency and that this was most likely why Zeljko Komsic was elected.

“If anything is obvious from the election results in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it's that two-thirds of Croats eligible to vote didn't want to vote for Dragan Covic and this is most likely why Zeljko Komsic was elected,” said Vesna Pusic, representative of the opposition Civic and Liberal Alliance (GLAS).

Pusic delivered the statement during a discussion on the prime minister's report on European Council meetings and a meeting of eurozone countries, held in June and November.

“Since Komsic has been elected member of the presidency, I guess it's in the interests of Croatia and all Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina that he does his job as well as possible, promoting the interests of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Pusic said. According to her, the fundamental interest of Croats in Bosnia is that the country succeeds on its path to the European Union membership.

She commented on the fact that parliament should soon discuss a declaration on the status of Croats in the neighbouring Bosnia.

“Imagine if Serbia, Slovenia or Hungary adopted a declaration in parliament demanding changes to the Croatian constitution and electoral law, everyone here would jump to their feet and say it was unacceptable,” the former foreign minister said.

Lawmakers from the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) praised the prime minister for managing to push through the issue of the Bosnia and Herzegovina election in the EU.

Josko Klisovic of the strongest opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) said that the prime minister's intervention in the European Council had been necessary, but that it was insufficient and belated.

“You don't think we raised the subject of electoral law with our partners only after the election?” Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said, adding that previously the subject had not been raised “in a coordinated and harmonised manner.”

“The problem is that those who should hear it at that level do not see this as a problem until it escalates,” Plenkovic said.

Dragan Covic is the leader of Plenkovic-led HDZ's sister party in Bosnia, the HDZ BiH. Covic and his supporters strongly objected the election victory of social-democrat Komsic, claiming he was elected owing to the votes of the Bosniaks. According to them, the shortcomings in Bosnia's Election Law allowed that to happen which is why they want the electoral legislation to be amended.

Bosnia and Herzegovina's Presidency consists of three members, each representing one major group in that country. The Bosniak and the Croat members are elected in the Federation (FBiH), one of the country's semi-autonomous entities, while the Serb member is selected from Republika Srpska (RS), a Serb-dominated entity.