Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is trying to “save his political ally,” BiH Presidency member Milorad Dodik, in order to maintain his influence in the region, Dodik’s colleague in the tripartite BiH Presidency, Sefik Dzaferovic, said on Monday.
Dzaferovic noted that Orban has not yet requested a meeting with the BiH Presidency, although it was announced that he would visit BiH at the end of the month.
“By saving Dodik, Orban wants to save his political ally through whom he exerts influence in this part of Europe. But I think that neither Orban nor Dodik can overcome the forces that see Europe as a continent of liberal democracy and rule of law, where court rulings will be respected and where no one will be discriminated against because of their identity,” Dzaferovic said.
He added that Russian President Vladimir Putin's statements also show his intention to gain the favour of Muslims, taking into account that 30 million of them live in Russia.
“Putin certainly has no interest in accepting Dodik's idea of targeting Muslims as a security issue,” he said.
Dzaferovic said that it is not possible for one of Bosnia’s two semi-autonomous entities to unilaterally take over state competencies which were transferred to the state through previous agreements – a move the National Assembly of the Serb-majority Republika Srpska (RS) recently expressed support for.
“All laws on the transfer of competencies were adopted unanimously in the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and all representatives from the RS entity, including Dodik's party, voted for them. Nowhere is the possibility open for the entities to unilaterally regain these competencies,” he explained.
“If despite all this one administrative unit, such as an entity, tries to unilaterally take over state jurisdiction, then we know what this represents. It is an attack on the constitutional order and an act of rebellion,” he said.
Dzaferovic also spoke about the law banning genocide denial which the former international administrator in the country, Valentin Inzko, imposed in July 2021. Bosnian Serb political leadership strongly opposes the law, which Dodik presented as the main reason behind his campaign of withdrawing the RS from state institutions.
Dzaferovic said that Bosnian Serb political leadership has been arguing that the main problem with the law is that it was imposed by the former High Representative of the international community.
However, he also noted that Inzko’s successor, Christian Schmidt, offered to annul Inzko’s decision if Bosnia’s Parliament adopts such a law itself.
“The current High Representative, Christian Schmidt, has made a fair offer. He said that he would be ready to withdraw Inzko's law if the BiH Parliamentary Assembly adopts a new law that will be in line with European and international standards,” he said.
“We should not forget that Inzko's law sanctions the denial of all judicially established crimes, including crimes against Serbs and other peoples,” Dzaferovic stressed.