Bosnian Serb and Bosniak leaders accuse each other of blocking the state

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Source: N1

Bosniak leader Bakir Izetbegovic never consulted other members of the House of Peoples when he scheduled a session on Tuesday and included topics in the agenda that cannot even be discussed, the deputy head of the lower chamber from the ruling Bosnian Serb party said after Izetbegovic criticised him and his party colleague for not supporting a parliamentary session that day.

Izetbegovic, the leader of the main Bosniaks Party for Democratic Action (SDA), said after the failed session that the main Bosnian Serb party, the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), does not want any decisions in the Parliament to be made until a new government – in Bosnia called the Council of Ministers – is formed.

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The Parliament was supposed to discuss a note by the Foreign Affairs Ministry regarding the naming of the parliamentary delegation which would represent the country in the Council of Europe.

Bosnia lacks a new government since the October 2018 election mostly because of the bickering between the winning parties over the country’s intention to join NATO – something Bosnian Serbs now vehemently oppose although the country submitted a request to join.

Bosnia has previously pursued NATO membership but in recent years Bosnian Serb politicians have changed their mind.

The next candidate for the prime minister comes from the SNSD which is strongly opposed to membership in the alliance and the Bosniak and Croat presidency members refuse to greenlight him, arguing that he would breach the law if he would not implement previous decisions.

Izetbegovic said on Tuesday that this is not the first time this situation emerged due to the Council of Ministers not being formed, but that nobody ever blocked the work of the State Parliament. He said that, other than the Parliament which is not working costing taxpayers a lot of money, the situation is also causing damage which is “far bigger for the reputation of the country and its concrete interests, as hundreds of laws, decisions and agreements are waiting to be adopted and for the commissions to be formed.”

But according to the SNSD’s Nebojsa Radmanovic, Izetbegovic never agreed on the agenda with other members of the chamber.

“When we told him this, he was surprised and he is now blaming others for the session not taking place,” Radmanovic said.

Radmanovic said that the government could have been formed months ago if it wasn't for the behaviour of the SDA.

“We could have done that in December. Us not doing it is a mistake Izetbegovic and the party he leads made. That can still be fixed and it is in the interest of everyone,” he said.

The composition of the government has already been agreed on, but the SDA does not want to realise it and keeps setting certain conditions for it, he said, adding that the SNSD did not set any conditions except for what belongs to Serbs to be realised.

The process of forming the government could be unblocked already the same evening or the next day if the SDA behaves differently, he said.

“As long as they keep setting conditions under influences from Bosnia or fro outside of Bosnia, this will not work,” he said.

He accused the SDA wanting to dominate Bosnia.

“We need to remind them from time to time that that is not possible. Bosnia and Herzegovina is either an agreement between two (semi-autonomous) entities and three peoples, or it doesn’t exist,” he concluded.