Dragan Covic, the leader of the largest ethnic Croat political party in Bosnia and Herzegovina the HDZ BiH, said on Saturday that there is no Bosnia and Herzegovina without the Croat people in that country but that the local Croats are exposed to attempts to be reduced to a minority, which requires a response.
“We must clearly say that there is no Bosnia and Herzegovina without the Croat people in that country,” Covic said in Zagreb while attending the general convention of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), HDZ BiH's sister party in Croatia.
It is the Croats who advocate Bosnia and Herzegovina's Euro-Atlantic journey, they are the uniting force, they are the only ones who straightforwardly, vocally and unambiguously follow all the standards of the European Union and the values promoted by our sister party: the Croatian HDZ, Covic said in his keynote speech at the start of the event.
Currently in Bosnia and Herzegovina, neither the presidency nor the government or the parliament are functioning, said Covic, calling the officially Croat and the Bosniaks members of the tripartite Presidency “two Bosniak members,” alluding that Zeljko Komsic, who sits as the Croat representative in the three-member presidency, won this position owing to the votes of Bosniak voters.
We have not met with such challenges since the conclusion of the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995, since the Homeland War, the HDZ BiH leader stressed.
Covic also said that the Croat community is exposed to attempts of majorisation and that they had to respond to those attempts to be outvoted. Therefore, the Bosnian Croats established up the Croat National Assembly in BiH (HNS BiH).
“The HNS BiH led by the HDZ BiH wants to give a clear response to key challenges and issues. At our extraordinary congress at the beginning of this year we sent a clear answer that we want to implement institutional and territorial reorganisation of the country in compliance with the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he stressed.
“Changes to the institutional set-up of Bosnia and Herzegovina should incorporate the rulings handed down by the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the full equality of all the three constituent peoples,” Covic added.
He hopes that in cooperation with Croatian PM and HDZ leader Andrej Plenkovic, they will find a solution that cannot be labelled by anyone as anti-Constitutional or being contrary to the Dayton agreement or to civilisation norms.
Bosnia is set to hold general elections in October and Covic noted that they were making preparations for the polls against a backdrop of the fact that the attempts to amend the electoral law failed in the last two years.
“We have united our forces ad we will win the elections. Be sure that the Croatian people with its slate with 12 parties together will clinch a convincing win at the elections. We will get them being united,” said Covic.
PM Plenkovic: Status of Bosnian Croats high on the agendas of international forums
Addressing the convention, Plenkovic said that the status of the Bosnian Croats has grown into an important topic on which they have persistently been working and that it is on the agenda with all allies and partners of the HDZ.
This topic has been imposed due to the work of the Croatian government, the HDZ, the HDZ BiH and other friendly parties, he added.
Plenkovic welcomed the leader of the European People's Party (EPP), Manfred Weber, and the EPP Secretary-General Thanasis Bakolas, who arrived in Zagreb for the HDZ convention.
Representatives of ethnic Croats in Serbia and Montenegro, Tomislav Zigmanov, Jasna Vojnic, Adrijan Vuksanovic and Zvonimir Dekovic, also thanked to the HDZ for the support to their communities.