The leader of the Bosnian Croat HDZ BiH party, Dragan Čović, has described the demand by the leading Bosniak SDA party to abolish the powers of the upper house of parliament of the Bosniak-Croat Federation entity as an attempt at toppling the Dayton Peace Agreement.
Covic wrote a letter to EU officials Ursula von der Leyen, Josep Borrell and Charles Michel, Croatia's President Zoran Milanovic, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic, as well as to Western diplomats to inform them about the HDZ-SDA talks that ended inconclusively on Sunday.
He said that the talks failed because the SDA made the electoral reform conditional on abolishing the legislative role of the House of Peoples, adding that such moves would lead to the Federation entity becoming a Bosniak statelet.
As a representative of the policies pursued by the Croatian people, I underline that abolishing the legislative powers of the House of Peoples of the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, reducing it to the role of protector of vital national interests and equating it with the Chamber of Peoples in Republika Srpska is a gross violation of the Washington and Dayton agreements and a serious threat to peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Covic wrote.
The House of Peoples of the Federation Parliament is ethnic-based and allows each of the three constituent peoples to participate in decision making and adoption of laws, and to choose executive bodies. On the other hand, in Republika Srpska, the Serb entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croats and Bosniaks cannot influence decisions taken by the majority Serb authorities because the upper house of the Serb entity parliament has been completely disempowered. By redefining the upper house of the Bosniak-Croat entity parliament, the four times more numerous Bosniaks might exert full dominance over the Croats.
Covic said that this demand was a dangerous act of hostility aimed at reducing the Croats as a constituent people to the status of a national minority. He recalled the conclusions of a recent extraordinary meeting of the Croatian National Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina which announced that the Croats would call for the territorial reorganisation of the country if their disenfranchisement continued.