The President of the Croat National Assembly of BiH (HNS BiH), an organisation composed of Croat ethnic parties in the country, Dragan Covic, urged international officials in Bosnia and Herzegovina to prevent the formation of a three-member mayoralty in the southern city of Mostar where, according to him, his Bosniak counterparts are pushing for this “illegal” solution to damage Croat political interests.
Covic sent a letter to Bosnia’s international administrator, High Representative Valentin Inzko, as well as to the U.S. ambassador and the Head of the OSCE Mission, in which he stressed that he had earlier asked for the international community to be observant about the December elections that were held in Mostar after 12 years and enable the vote to be fair.
“We still need your presence and vigilance in that sense, because the election itself did not solve all the issues that are unfairly burdening this city and all its citizens,” Covic said.
“We believe that the focus of the illegal activities is directed against Croat political entities, and thus against the citizens of Croat nationality of the City of Mostar,” he said accusing the Bosniak Party of Democratic Action (SDA) of “imposing an absurd ‘pro-Bosnian’ denomination in the heart of Herzegovina,” and of trying to establish a monopoly government.
“There is a classic example of mimicry at work, where the party's nationalist goals are trying to present themselves as something completely different, while in reality, they encourage the deepest discord and divisions with which it is necessary to finally stop,” said Covic.
He called the effort to impose new “solutions” in the city in the form of a three-member mayoralty illegal.
He was referring to a new proposal for the distribution of power in the divided city which would entail a mayoralty shared by the representatives of the three election winners – Covic’s Croat Democratic Union (HDZ BiH), the BH Bloc, comprised of left-leaning pro-Bosnian parties and the Coalition for Mostar, led by the SDA. The representatives would rotate on the post of the mayor every 16 months.
The BH Bloc and the Coalition for Mostar have agreed to this proposal but the HDZ BiH rejected it.
Covic called such a system “an extremely strange hybrid form unknown to local government or the concept of good governance.”
“The question arises as to what the real goal of such unreasonable action and serious challenge to the establishment of city government, after so many years of its non-existence, has left a deep scar on the fabric of the city crying out for agreement, harmony, development and Europeanisation,” his letter said.
In case such a solution would be accepted, the only outcome would be further blockades, deeper divisions and complete dysfunction of the city administration, he predicted.
“I hope you see all the harmfulness of such an effort, as well as the need to strongly condemn it,” he said, urging the international officials to “help us at this crucial moment to prevent institutional tyranny and chaos.”