Bosnian Croat political leader, Dragan Covic, said that the Croat National Assembly (HNS), the umbrella organization of Bosnian Croat parties, will push for a territorial reorganization of BiH unless the electoral system in the country ensures "complete constitutional equality and legitimate representation".
Covic, who is also the head of the HNS and also the leader of the Croat Democratic Union in Bosnia (HDZ BiH), spoke about the upcoming elections in the country at a press conference in the town of Vitez.
He said the HDZ BiH adopted a strategy that defines its visions until 2030 and that the program will be presented to the public in September when the pre-election campaign officially begins.
He said Bosnian Croat parties will lead a “positive election campaign” ahead of the October 2 elections and that all parties within the HNS fully support Borjana Kristo’s candidacy for the Bosnian Croat representative in the tripartite state Presidency.
“I believe that the policy we are proposing is a top example of European politics in terms of expression, and it will be positive until the end. Our behaviour will be recognizable when addressing the public,” he said, stressing that the HDZ BiH adopted a strategy with an emphasis on the battle against hate speech.
Covic said he generally does not support the idea of the High Representative of the international community, Christian Schmidt, imposing solutions in the country, but that he does expect him to “complete the process” of electoral reform.
“BiH itself should make decisions in its own institutions. However, if the High Representative has intervened in the BiH Election Law twice in recent times, then we expect that process to end in such a way and we do not want to interfere in that,” he stated.
Reporters then asked Covic what can be expected if there are no changes to the Election Law.
“If there is no solution regarding ensuring constitutional equality and legitimate representation, the HNS will respond to that clearly. We mentioned earlier that we will propose a different solution to the organization of the system, including the territorial organization of BiH. This means that we will provide rational solutions,” he said.
He also stressed that the parties within the HNS consider the current convocation of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of BiH to be illegal and illegitimate.
“The HNS has no confidence in it (the CEC). We accept all of its decisions, but we do not agree with it and we will not remain silent,” he said.
“We are aware that the latest amendments to the Election Law of BiH introduced by the High Representative give enormous powers to those people”, he added.