Politics in April 2000


SFOR arrested Momcilo Krajisnik at the beginning of April and deported him directly to Hague and the Schevening cells. Just to remind you, Momcilo Krajisnik's biography contains the following references - pre-war President of Bosnian Assembly, Republika Srpska Assembly President in the war, post-war member of Bosnian Presidency, high positioned member of the SDS party and Radovana Karadzic's closest cooperator. The Hague tribunal is holding the man with joined eyebrows responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, murders, deportations ...and so on.

In short, Krajisnik is the biggest beast in Shoveningen prison at the moment. This is somewhat surprising, keeping in mind the practice of the Hague Tribunal to arrest mostly executors and not those who gave orders for the crimes committed.

Reactions to Krajisnik's arrest East of Banja Luka were disapproving. But still surprisingly mild. Mirko Banjac, member of the SDS Main Committee called upon the members of the party to accept the arrest peacefully and wait for Krajisnik's guilt to be determined. There were no demonstrations, protests, riots. Most of the Serb parties agreed in different ways that Krajisnik's arrest was just another political act made against indangered Serb people.

Reactions West from Banja Luka were approving. Everyone applauded unanimously to the punishing of the criminals and pleasing the justice. This included also those who worked against it whenever they could.

Local media and local folks remember the anecdotes - commentaries of Krajisnik's father: "You see what the soldiers are like, they broke down our doors with dynamite. If they knocked I would have opened them." I am not sure about the correctness of these words but that was in short what Krajisnik senior had to say about the entire SFOR action.

Krajisnik's arrest is being connected with the secret visit of Carla del Ponte to Sarajevo.The chief prosecutor visited local Hague branch and the OHR a few days before the SFOR action, allegedly in order to get more efficient cooperation and speeding the process of those accused of war crimes.
Because of this reason it is expected that Rasim Delic, recently retired general/commander of the Bosnian Army could be arrested soon as well as Ejup Ganic,
the President of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and some other low ranking Bosnian officials. And maybe even those high ranking officials that are responsible for the crimes committed against Serbs and Croats during the Bosnian war. This is a very frequent topic that is talked about loudly and with lots of evidence, between truth and objectivity loving journalists and circles close to them.
The Hague officials annonced that the Tribunal is willing and able to accept new convicts and start their process'.
There is no doubt in this - new arrests are coming.



Local elections were held in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the beginning of April.

According to the information of the Central Election Commission, around 2,5 million citizens had the right to participate in the 4th post-war Bosnian elections. The citizens had an opportunity to vote for 68 political parties and coallitions and 18 independent candidates in 3.500 polling stations. The local elections took place in the whole Bosnian territory with an exception of Brcko District and Srebrenica municipality. Brcko received local government along with the district status two months ago, while the results of the 1998 local elections in Srebrenica were implemented recently. Therefore...

And the results? They are mostly well known - although the OSCE Mission has not announced the official and complete results yet. As much as positive was the fall of Party of Democratic Action (SDA) in favour of the Socialdemocrats, the more shocking was the victory of the Serb Democrat Party (SDS) and the Croat Democrat Union (HDZ). It seems that in some parts of Bosnia the conscience of the people does not change even after 10 years (think of the 1990 election results).

Before some details about the results, here are some things about the finish of the pre-election campaign. Because of the decision about pre-election silence, the last day of the campaign recorded the largest activity of the parties and the candidates. In Sarajevo, within just a couple of hundred meters, there were pre-election meetings of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA), Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina (SBiH) and Socialdemocratic Party (SDP), the three strongest political sides in the Federation at the time. Already then the fact that there were only about 2000 people at the SDA meeting was surprising, considering the tens of thousands of people who visited SDA stadium meetings in previous years. This confirmed the results of many surveys made before the elections and which indicated the fall of popularity of the first Bosniak party. The election results will prove this even better. SDA candidates, in their pre-election meetings, talked about the previous ten years using as many lies as they could. SBiH i SDP talked about changes. It is hard to guess whether their announced changes will also be justified with lies in ten years from now.

The OSCE lead the election campaign under a motto "vote for changes". With a clear message - to voters. At first, most of the parties were against "inviting the good Bosnians for changes" but in the next moment most of their materials stated that they are the ones offering those, to Hell with them, changes. So, you should vote for them. This did not bother Alija Izetbegovic, SDA leader, very much so he accused the International Community that it is supporting the opposition and wishes the opposition to win the elections. Did the opposition win (at least in the part of the Federation) because of the OSCE campaign or was it because of the catastrophical ten-year-long SDA effect, it does not need to be said.

And now the results, still unconfirmed by the OSCE, but quite clear - straight in the head!

Surprise to some and to some not - SDA admitted that it was defeated by the Socialdemocrats. Not in the entire Federation but in the most of the urban environment. Most of the municipalities in Sarajevo, Tuzla, Gorazde, Mostar and Zenica area. According to the available data, SDA got a majority only in Krajina. In places where SDP did not get the above average majority by itself, it was accomplished together with Silajdzic's Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the Sarajevo press said - the second strongest party in BiH. The first one, officially since the elections, is SDP.

From the HDZ election headquarters it was stated that the party had won majority of votes in Federal municipalities with the Croat majority.

Judging from the results available, the biggest improvement in Republika Srpska was achieved by SDS. The party won majority votes in the Eastern part of the RS as well as in the parts of Posavina and Krajina. Milorad Dodik's Party of Independent Socialdemocrats, according to the number of votes in RS, is in the second position while the third one is the Party of Democratic Progress. Biljana Plavsic's Serb National Union had the biggest fall in the local elections. Still it is obvious, SDS has the majority at the local level. How strongly will this create the local politics of this BH entity, is still unclear. But it is certain that the International Community will not tolerate any wrong moves.

According to the OSCE, out of 2,46 million registered voters about 70 % of them voted. OSCE expressed satisfaction with the elections, regardless of certain problems concerning the voting process itself. Also, for the first time, the elections were supervised by 5 500 supervisors and members of the local NGOs.

One thing is for sure. Bosnian suspense and nebulosis are still going on. While the radical SDA is loosing in most of the Federation against SDP, in RS and parts of the Federation with the Croat majority most of the votes are given to radical and pre-war SDS and HDZ.

And now it is getting more and more unclear.