Fmr High Representative to BiH: Mostar didn't follow Sarajevo in local elections

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Source: JOHN THYS / AFP

Former High Representative to BiH Christian Schwarz-Schilling is disappointed with what he saw in Mostar and the fact that Croats and Bosniaks mostly voted for their ethnic groups, adding that he did not like what he saw at the constituent session of the City Council.

Commenting for Deutsche Welle, the former politician said there have been no elections in Mostar since 2008, and the strongest Bosniak party – the Democratic Action Party (SDA) and the biggest Croat party – Croat Democratic Union (HDZ) were pleased that the elections did not interfere with their rule.

“Mostar residents had a great opportunity to change the situation after 12 long years, to be free, to vote for others, for new people. We all hoped that what happened in the local elections in Sarajevo or Banja Luka would happen in Mostar. But, unfortunately, the citizens of Mostar did not really use these elections to enable change. Croats and Bosniaks mostly re-elected their ethnic groups and everything remains as it is,” he said.

While the SDA and HDZ have repeatedly pointed out that without them and their agreement, the elections in Mostar would not have taken place, he mentions Irma Baralija as a person without whom they would not have happened at all.

“We need to give our voice to such future-oriented people, to those who will work for the benefit of all, not just themselves. Civic awareness in Mostar does not yet seem to be sufficiently developed for what Sarajevo has done to happen,” he said. “I also think that the agreement between the HDZ and SDA is not very helpful or a good signpost for a better future. But all that will come in time, I am convinced.”

At their first session in the race for Mayor, Mostar City councillors eliminated Irma Baralija from BH Bloc after the first round, while supporting Zlatko Guzin (Coalition for Mostar) and Mario Kordic (HDZ).

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