Fmr High Representative in BiH: Dodik, Covic, Izetbegovic are the past

NEWS 12.11.2021 14:46
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Source: N1

The leaders of nationalist parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik, Dragan Covic and Bakir Izetbegovic are the past, former High Representative in the country, Wolfgang Petritsch told N1 Friday, adding the BiH Constitution does not allow any of Dodik’s announcements of pulling out of state institutions and returning those competencies back to the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska (RS) entity.

“Also, they (Dodik, Izetbegovic and Covic) will be accused of mass corruption and I believe that there should be such initiatives. We must work for the future of BiH. Dodik, Covic and Izetbegovic are the past, they belong to the Bosnian past,” he stressed.

Petritsch said that they are still in power, but that their power is weak.

“Over the past 25 years, despite billions of investments from Europe, there has been no progress for citizens. I still remember 2014 when the protests in BiH took place and the slogan was ‘We are hungry in three languages.’ You must realize that progress comes through the economy and a change of mindset,” Petritsch told N1.

He warned that the Office of the High Representative (OHR), in charge of overseeing the implementation of the civilian aspect of the Dayton Peace Agreement that ended the 1992-1995 war in the country, has no role in BiH’s future.
“The OHR is running out of potential, it has no role in deciding on the future of BiH. [High Representative Christian] Schmidt has a very important task in this regard, and that is to come to the conclusion with the OHR to make sure that the success of the OHR over the past 25 years is supported and not questioned by Dodik and others, that is the most important thing. The second most important thing is to support the reforms of the Election Law. This is where Schmidt has an important task. On Sunday, I will meet with Schmidt in Vienna and we will discuss all issues, as well as the role of the OHR in BiH,” he said.

Speaking about his advice to Schmidt when he meets with him in Vienna, Petritsch said he believes Schmidt views the situation in BiH as he does. He also said that the situation in BiH is difficult because no progress has been made in the last 15 years and that the EU and the United States were not interested in BiH because they had their own problems.

Commenting on the announcements of BiH Presidency member Milorad Dodik on withdrawing consent to the agreements on the formation of the BiH Armed Forces and the state judiciary, the former High Representative noted that “the BiH Constitution does not allow for anything that Dodik is trying to do.”

“Can you imagine another country that is as small as BiH, which dropped from 4 million inhabitants to only 2.5 million? The RS will destroy itself because the young people who are leaving know that the RS, which once had 1.2 million inhabitants in the Dayton era, now has some 800,000 inhabitants. That is the result of Dodik's policy. BiH, and especially the RS, will disintegrate, it will simply not be on the map. It is now urgent to change the policy. Many from Banja Luka tell me ‘unfortunately, Dodik is still there.’ They have to step forward. This also applies to the Federation of BiH (FBiH) entity, because the FBiH has lost too many young people who want to have a future in BiH but do not see it there,” Petritsch stressed.

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