David Pettigrew, professor of philosophy and studies of the Holocaust and genocide at the Southern Connecticut State University, said at the session of the Circle 99 (Krug 99) association of intellectuals on Sunday that he hopes US envoy Matthew Palmer will not agree to solutions for electoral reform in Bosnia that would further destabilise the country.
He noted that Palmer recently said that the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights regarding Bosnia’s election system must be respected and that a broad dialogue is needed in the country on the issue.
Pettigrew expressed hope that this dialogue will include Circle 99, as well as the members of the tripartite BiH Presidency and that Palmer will not bow to “pressure and blackmail” in order to agree to a solution for reforming the election law that would further destabilise the country “and in some way legitimize the earlier goals of creating a third entity, creating a greater Croatia, which again benefits Russia.”
He argued that Russia is working towards further destabilising BiH and that agreeing to such a solution “would contribute to that joint criminal enterprise that began in Belgrade.”
He also questioned whether this is the best time to focus intensively on electoral reform and argued that it would be better if the focus was on preventing BiH Presidency member Milorad Dodik from achieving the weartime goals of the Bosnian Serb leadership.
Dodik has been working towards rolling back post-war reforms which led to the establishment of numerous state institutions, including the army, indirect taxation authority and judicial institutions. He announced that Bosnia’s semi-autonomous Republika Srpska (RS) entity, where he is the leader of the ruling party, will unilaterally withdraw from those institutions and form its own, separate ones.
According to Pettigrew, Dodik’s actions are “currently the biggest threat to peace.”