A statement by Bosniak leader Bakir Izetbegovic that the status quo will remain in Bosnia, where no government has been formed since the election last year, until the “entity government level cannot command the state level” represents an act of blackmail, House of Representatives deputy speaker Nebojsa Radmanovic said on Wednesday.
Bosnia has no government established since the October 2018 election because the winning parties disagree over whether to send a document, the Annual National Programme (ANP), to NATO.
The country took the obligation over years ago through a consensus between the representatives of all three major ethnic groups. However, the Serb ruling Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), which is also in power in the semi-autonomous Serb-dominated Republika Srpska (RS) entity, is against sending it. In line with neighbouring Serbia, the Republika Srpska National Assembly adopted a Resolution on Military Neutrality in 2017, meaning that it is opposed to entering any military organisations including NATO.
Bosnia’s three Presidency members must all approve the new Council of Ministers.
The Bosniak member, Sefik Dzaferovic, comes from Izetbegovic’s Party for Democratic Action (SDA). He and his Croat colleague, Zeljko Komsic, insist on sending the ANP. They refuse to approve the naming of the new Council of Ministers Chairman, who is supposed to come from the SNSD, until the document is sent.
“The issue will remain in the status quo until the SNSD decides to accept that the entity level cannot command the state level,” Izetbegovic said.
But Radmanovic, a member of the SNSD, said this is not how the issue of forming the government should be discussed.
“Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country which has a Constitution and Izetbegovic often does not respect it while calling for others to be disciplined,” Radmanovic told journalists in Belgrade where he is attending an Interparliamentary Union meeting.
Radmanovic said Izetbegovic’s statement represents blackmail, arguing that nobody from the RS set any conditions for forming the government except for it to happen in accordance with the will of the people.