Politics in October 1999

* Representative Home of Bosnian Parliament/Representative Home of Federation - Sessions

During October, there were sessions of the Representative Homes of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Federation. Who hoped progress in their work had another thing coming.
Out of several topics that were offered I will take out some of the most interesting ones. And the most interesting one was the discussion on foreign citizens who got Bosnian citizenship and papers during the war. It was interesting especially considering recent arrests of international terrorists with those papers. Of course, the SDA majority (including their satellites) tried very hard to unable discussion of this topic. Of course, because they know the guilty party in this story. Making of agenda lasted for 5 hours. And then the members of Social-Democratic Party left the session. Knowing that any discussion would be impossible. SDA and the satellites obstructed any discussion that was not in their interest. Or, about anything that would make them look guilty.
The Federal Home of Representatives had an ambition to have their 8th and 9th session. The 9th session was supposed to bring a report from the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs on naturalized Bosnians. But there was a problem in the 8th session so it never got to the report.

Such actions of the Parliament majority clearly supported by SDA, could be seen in two ways:
a) SDA will prolong the discussion on naturalized Bosnians (meaning world famous terrorists) until the moment they have a well prepared media campaign for this matter. And then, they will probably claim that these citizens have contributed to the survival and defense of the country. Or, folks, we did it for you - so you take the blame.
b) SDA is hoping that people will simply forget all this, like many things from the past, if they drag it on forever.

But, knowing the political work of SDA, it is possible that they will rely on Solomon's solution which could only cause a parliamentary crisis. Especially, if they continue to reject all other constructive suggestions of SDP and other parties.
*Sessions of Republika Srpska Assembly and of Bosnian Presidency
In Banja Luka, last Sunday, there was a special session of Republika Srpska Assembly. Yesterday, in Sarajevo, the session of Bosnian Presidency continued. Both sessions had a common theme which will eventually polarize national political parties.
It is about the law suit of Bosnia and Herzegovina against FR Yugoslavia. It is the war crime suit dating since 1993.
After comrade Radisic disagreed with comrades Izetbegovic and Jelavic about the process continuance at Hague, he went home and called a session during which the decision about the process was found illegal. According to that it is in the state of invalidness. Because, there are alleged legal grounds for that. The reason - Bosnian suit against FR Yugoslavia is destructive for national interests of Republika Srpska. Just afew days earlier, Radisic went to visit the great master Milosevic. Coincidence?
A day later, the Bosnian Presidency got together and proclaimed the decision of RS People's Assembly invalid. Judging from the intelligent inertia of politicians in these parts, the RS Assembly will probably find the Presidency's last decision invalid. And that will go on, till the next war. Just as a reminder, the RS Assembly did not discuss the government they are without for a year now or the president that the entity is without for the last six months. And neither did "our" representatives discuss the obvious social problems and misery of the population.
Increasing differences between Izetbegovic - Jelavic - Radisic or Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina -Republika Srpska could cause the freezing of relations between the two Bosnian entities.
I'll point out only some of mostly exposed problems. The Federation will not give up the law suit against FR Yugoslavia and Republika Srpska will not accept it. Republika Srpska Assembly will not be too eager to accept the demands of Bosniak functioners to get in it. Neither will Bosniak functioners easily give up the functions they got from the last elections. I won't even mention the problems of refugees and displaced persons. Looks like the next move is up to International Community.
*Presidental Crisis in Republika Srpska
Since I've mentioned crisis, there is a big chance that the presidential one, in Republika Srpska, should come to an end. The crisis which lasts since the beginning of the year. After Nikola Poplasen was dumped in the street publicly, at the beginning of the year, it now became clear that the proclamation of a new president was a matter of days.
The correct person was found in Mirko Sarovic, a subject to Serb Democratic Party and the vice president of Republika Srpska. President of the Assembly, Jovan Mitrovic, said that it is to be expected that Sarovic will accept the presidential function. Although it was expected that Sarovic will do this by October 10, during the RS Assembly session, it didn't happen. Even the session of the SDS during which the party was to verify Sarovic's new state function, had no results. We should mention that Sarovic himself doesn't deny the rumors about his new duty. On the contrary.
The new position of Sarovic is possible because the speculations of coallition Sloga and Serb People's Party about pre-term presidential elections were not supported by international officials. The representatives of Sloga confirmed their negotiations with SDS, about Sarovic, in public. It is clear that Dodik, if he can't have pre-term elections, is trying to put Sarovic in the chair, with the best possible terms for himself, of course.
Interference of International Community with the matter of electing the new president , will probably not be well developed. The High Representative, Wolfgang Petrich, said that the decision about the RS presidential function should be made by the Serb leadership first and then the International Community will discuss about it.
It is for sure that the president will be known soon. After the SDS session. And their answer will be positive. It is clear that SDS is trying to regain any sort of political influence in Republika Srpska. The influence which was almost lost after their friendship with Poplasen's radicals and after their unified stepping out of the Parliament. Now they have a new chance.
Just like Dodiks. SDS president controlled by Dodik's coalition Sloga is not a small thing.
*Srebrenica - Attack on Munib Hasanovic
The secretare of town municipality and the representative of Coalition for CD B&H, Munib Hasanovic, was attacked (with knife, legs and wire around the neck). Four months after the implementation of the last year election results (!), Srebrenica is again without the "multiethnic" authority. Coalition for CD BiH leaves Srebrenica. For an indefinite period. The attack came after month long verbal threats to Bosnian representatives in the Srebrenica government.
The Coalition, among others, blames Bent Jansen, the representative of the International Community for Srebrenica, for this attack. It is said that he didn't enable the implementation of decision on mixed police forces in Srebrenica - that would probably, decrease the possibility of actions and acts like this one.
What will be the political consequence of this? Probably nothing. There's been a policy of ignoring minorities in Bosnia for years and it hasn't been a serious problem for anyone. It is certain that this act will have a greater impact on civilians - the matter of return of Srebrenica refugees.
I really doubt that they will be so eager to decide to return and accept the invitations coming from the International Community. The return in which they would be greeted with knives, legs and wires. Like 10 000 of people from Srebrenica and 200 000 people killed in Bosnian war in general, was not enough for somebody.
*Mostar under Blockade (part 2)
In the middle of October, the SFOR soldiers blocked (mostly west) Mostar, again, after the September blockade when they were looking for evidence, in cooperation with the Hague tribunal investigators.
This time, officially, for confiscating illegal arms and "stopping of criminal and subversive activities that are against the Dayton agreement". The action took place in all vital objects of so-called Herceg Bosna from the war period (headquarters of the government and the army). Several SFOR soldiers were hurt in the action and it was said that some of the civilians who were demonstrating through the "Croat part of the city" attacked the soldiers.
In western part of the city, there were demonstrations of the local population against SFOR and there presence in this area. HDZ ministers left the BiH government session which was going on at the moment after they got information about what was going on in "their " Mostar. Broadcasting was forbidden for the Croat radio Mostar, because of their delivering of messages from HVIDRA that were calling people to take actions against SFOR.
There were two big actions of confiscation of documents from the war period in Mostar, during the last two months. Now we are waiting for the Hague to bring new charges. Then the results of these actions will be more visible.
* Demonstrations of BiH & Sarajevo Pensioners
During October, there were non-violent, protest demonstrations of pensioners throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. Probably the only critical mass in BiH decided to get out on the streets asking for justice and the money they earned for themselves and jail for those who are stealing it from them.
Bosnian government has reduced pensions for 46%, starting with August 1, 1999. Average pension at the time was 293 KM and when reduced it was 156 KM (1KM=1DM). The average before the war was 540 KM. And most of them are getting pensions under the average. Then we shouldn't be surprised by the increasing number of old people that are going through trash cans in order to survive.
And how the government reacts to these demands can be seen through Dnevni Avaz, unofficial news papers of the government. One headline says it all and I quote: "Pensioners want more". More than nothing, what a nerve. Obviously, there will be no money.
*BH Presidential Trio in Slovenia
Members of Bosnian Presidency, comrades Izetbegovic, Jelavic and Radisic were in two-day visit to Slovenia in October.
After they had so many trips before, in solo versions (Izetbegovic to see brother Arabs, Jelavic to see brother Croats in Zagreb, Radisic to see brother Serbs and father Milosevic in Belgrade (Radisic could face serious political sanctions because of this - the RS public is more and more against him, and the International Community is not happy about this visit either. Also because he was accompanied by Nikola Poplasen, ex president of RS and radical.))
The three members of Presidency remembered that they represent one country, so they should go together sometimes. And for the first time in their united careers, on the same plane. What a progress.
Slovenian President, Milan Kucan, said, after the meeting, that this visit shows that Bosnia is a peaceful country. He also said that Bosnia is not facing war anymore but the problems of transition and economic development. He didn't speak about the Slovenian interests in economic development.
*Kofi Annan, Sarajevo and the 6 billionth Earthian
General secretare of the UN, Kofi Annan, visited Sarajevo. Besides the talks with the unserious government of this country, Kofi Annan was present to a birth of the 6 billionth citizen of the unfortunate planet Earth in Sarajevo.
Now you know the center of the world. A Bosnian circus, with local and foreign players.