HNS head: All I want is for Croats to be equal

NEWS 20.12.2018 20:03
Source: N1

Bozo Ljubic, the head of an organisation of Bosnian Croat parties and lawmaker in the Croatian Parliament representing Croats abroad, told N1 on Thursday that as a patriot, he only wants Croats in Bosnia to be equal with others.

“Everything I do, I do as a patriot of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that’s primarily my homeland, but I’m also a Croat patriot,” Ljubic, the head of the Croat National Assembly (HNS) in Bosnia, told N1.

“I am advocating for a country in which the three constituent peoples will be equal, and for the position of Croats to be equal with the other two nations, ” he said.

In December 2016, Bosnia's Constitutional Court ruled partially in favour of a complaint Ljubic lodged regarding the state election law provision dictating that the ten cantons within the Bosniak-Croat majority Federation (FBiH) entity delegate at least one representative from each of the country’s three main ethnic groups to the FBiH House of Peoples.

Ljubic argued that the Croat influence in cantons with majority Bosniak populations was unfairly diminished in the selection of delegates. He argued that Croat candidates, therefore, should be elected only from majority Croat cantons, thereby ensuring that only Croats vote for Croat delegates.

Bosnia’s political parties could never agree on how to change the election law.

Meanwhile, elections in October produced a new problem for Ljubic’s side.

Bosnia’s Presidency consists of representatives of the three constituent peoples in the country: the Serbs, the Bosniaks and the Croats.

The Serb member is elected from the Serb half of the country, Republika Srpska (RS) but the Bosniak and the Croat are elected from FBiH, the other half of the country.

However, Bosniaks are numerically dominant and many of them turned their backs on their own candidates and voted for left-leaning Zeljko Komsic, who is ethnically a Croat.

Since he was not elected by Croats in Bosnia, Komsic is an illegitimate Croat representative, Ljubic argued.

“This is not just my opinion, it's the opinion of all objective analysts,” he said, adding that his there is nothing personal in his claim and that he is not doubting that Komsic is a Croat but he doubts his legitimacy in representing the Croats in Bosnia.

He says the representatives of the three constituent peoples must lead the country together.

Referring to another case related to the discrimination of minorities in Bosnia, Ljubic said that the country must first solve the collective rights of the three constituent peoples, and then it can try to solve the problem minorities have.

A Bosnian Jew and a Bosnian Roma sued the country at the Court of Human rights in Strasbourg because its constitution does not allow them to be elected as president or enter the upper house of the parliament as only Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats can occupy those seats.

The two won and the court ordered Bosnia to fix this error but fixing it would mean giving priority to individual rights of citizens, contrary to Ljubic’s request.

“Some 97 per cent of citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina have declared themselves as Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks. It is rational to ask that the interests of the constituent peoples are regulated first,” Ljubic said.

The problem is not the minorities but the relations between the country’s constituent peoples, he said.

“First we have to solve that, then the issues of minorities, ” Ljubic concluded.