Elections in October are an opportunity to reassemble the pieces of the fragmented political puzzle in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
By Drazen Remikovic for Southeast European Times in Sarajevo -- 08/09/12
RS President Milorad Dodik's SNSD party was expelled from the Socialist International. [SNSD]
Bosnia and Herzegovina politicians have a chance, through the upcoming local elections, to put aside their differences and commit themselves to gaining EU accession and supporting security in the Balkans.
Despite the past, the fragmented state is facing an opportunity to reassemble the pieces of the country's political puzzle.
"The crisis is very deep and long, so I think that whoever find a solution for it, we should give him the Nobel Peace Prize," Slavo Kukic, political analyst and a professor at the University of Mostar, told SETimes.
However, despite the urging of the international community, experts, citizens and even politicians themselves, both sides have a long way to go to solving the nation's pressing issues in the upcoming October elections.
"If you follow the media, you'll see that the statements are much sharper than those in the 1990s. The international community is slowly distancing itself from this crisis, which is not good because it is the most responsible for peace in BiH. Ordinary people don't produce national and political tensions but politicians do," Kukic told SETimes.
On September 1st, the Socialist International -- the worldwide organisation of social democratic, socialist and labour parties comprised of 161 political parties and organisations from around the world -- expelled Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik's Union of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) from its membership.
Last month, Dodik broke off his party's co-operation with the Social Democratic Party and demanded the resignation of its chief Zlatko Lagumdzija from his post of foreign affairs minister.
At issue is Lagumdzija's vote for a resolution on Syria at the UN Assembly. Dodik maintains that Lagumdzija instructed the BiH representatives at the UN to support the resolution without first obtaining prior consent of the state's tripartite presidency.
After the accusations, Lagumdzija responded to Nebojsa Radmanovic, the Serb member of the state presidency in a public letter. "[I] would never have taken the side of disastrous foreign policy of voting against a resolution on Syria. I voted based on the recommendation of BiH Presidency [Chairman] Bakir Izetbegovic, who informed me that the BiH presidency took a common stance on Syria last year."
Dusanka Majkic, vice president of the SNSD says that BiH politicians are the main culprit in the political crisis.
"Political combinations and mutual accusations show that politics in BiH hasn't got its ideology and that the only thing politicians want is to stay in power as long as possible," Majkic told SETimes.
Asim Mujkic, professor at the Faculty of Political Science in Sarajevo, said that the crisis has been present in BiH for 20 years, and it only gets worse.
"When they are asked to do a specific task, politicians immediately transfer the responsibility to the other, using a rough rhetoric and causing ethnic tensions, and even mention a new war. Dodik is the exact example of such rhetoric," he said.
Citizens think that politicians should be punished for such behaviour.
"Instead of solving the problems of the people for what they are receiving huge salaries, politicians will look on how to take as many official chairs they can. None of us should participate in the next election because we only give the legitimacy to the politicians to do whatever they want," Sarajevo resident Almir Bekto, 41, told SETimes.