Left-leaning DF ready to negotiate forming government with nationalist parties

NEWS 26.03.2019 17:59
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Source: N1

The Democratic Front (DF) - one of the founders of a left-leaning pro-Bosnian political alliance that pledged not to take part in a government together with nationalists - said on Tuesday it was ready under certain conditions to start negotiations with the nationalist parties and then called other left-leaning parties to unite into a “strong political organisation.”

The leftists turned the offer down immediately.

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The DF, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and ‘Nasa Stranka’ (Our Party, NS) had formed the BH Bloc in 2018 and together they decided against participation in a government formed together with nationalists, although nationalist parties won most of the votes in the election last year.

The sudden DF U-turn came with a list of conditions the DF set in order to start negotiations with the three main election winners – Bosniak Party for Democratic Action (SDA), the Croat Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HDZ BiH) and the Bosnian Serb Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD).

The conditions, however, are old requirements of the left and include the implementation of rulings of the EU human rights court that would essentially clip the wings of the nationalists.

Among them is a ruling that ordered Bosnia to change its election law so that every person can run for any position in the state government regardless of ethnic belonging and that everyone should have the right to vote for whoever they like in the country.

This is a principle the HDZ vehemently opposes. Citing Bosnia’s Constitution, the Croat nationalist party wants members of ethnic groups to only be able to vote for members of the same group, saying that only those elected officials would have the legitimacy to represent that group in Bosnia’s power-sharing system.

The other condition the DF set is implementing earlier decisions of the presidency regarding Bosnia’s path towards NATO membership, which the SNSD fiercely opposes.

The DF’s simultaneous call for its left-leaning partners to “unite the left of Bosnia and Herzegovina into a strong political organisation” was turned down by both the SDP and the NS.

“Today’s adopted conclusions at the session of the DF Presidency are not in line with the conclusions of the three parties to, as BH Bloc, not enter the government with ethnonational parties,” the joint statement said.
“Furthermore, we cannot escape the impression that the conclusions are unimplementable, as they contradict the principles for forming a government which are being advocated by the SNSD, HDZ BiH and SDA,” the parties noted, referring to the conditions the DF set for negotiating with the nationalists.

The two parties added that people did not vote for them to form a government with nationalist parties and to become “a pawn” in a government where the SNSD and the HDZ are already controlling chambers within the House of Peoples.

“We will continue to consistently and constructively act as the opposition to such a government, in the interest of all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we will, within our political capacities in all parliaments, support all projects which are in the interest of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” their statement concluded.