Čović: BiH Croats Exposed to Attempts to be Outvoted, Must Respond

By 12 June 2022
Čović: BiH Croats Exposed to Attempts to be Outvoted, Must Respond

ZAGREB, 11 June, 2022 - The leader of the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HDZ BiH), Dragan Čović, said on Saturday that there is no Bosnia and Herzegovina without the Croat people in that country and that the local Croats are exposed to attempts to be reduced to a minority, which requires a response.

"We must clearly say that there is no Bosnia and Herzegovina without the Croat people in that country," Čović said in Zagreb while attending the  Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) general convention.

It is the Croats who advocate Bosnia and Herzegovina's Euro-Atlantic journey, they are the uniting force, they are the only ones who straightforwardly, vocally and unambiguously follow all the standards of the European Union and the values promoted by our sister party: the Croatian HDZ, Čović said in his keynote speech at the start of the convention.

Currently, in Bosnia and Herzegovina neither the (tripartite) presidency with two Bosniak members nor the government or the parliament are functioning, said Čović alluding to the fact that Željko Komšić who sits as the Croat representative in the three-member presidency, won this position owing to the votes of Bosniak voters.

We have not met with such challenges since the conclusion of the Dayton-peace accord in 1995, since the Homeland War, Čović warned.

According to some estimates, the number of Croats has been cut by more than 50% to 350,000, and they account for a mere 15% of the country's total population.

Čović said that the Croat community is exposed to attempts of majorisation and that they had to respond to those attempts to be outvoted. Therefore, the BiH Croats have set up the Croatian National Assembly in BiH.

"The HNS BiH led by the HDZ BiH  wants to give a clear response to key challenges and issues. At our extraordinary congress at the beginning of this year we sent a clear answer that we want to implement institutional and territorial reorganisation of the country in compliance with the Constitution of BiH," he underscored.

"Changes to the institutional set-up of Bosnia and Herzegovina should incorporate the rulings handed down by the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the full equality of all the three constituent peoples."

He hopes that in cooperation with Croatian PM and HDZ leader Andrej Plenković, they will find a solution that cannot be labelled by anyone as anti-Constitutional or being contrary to the Dayton agreement and to civilisation norms.

Bosnia is set to hold general elections in October, and Čović notes that they are making preparations for the polls against a backdrop of the fact that the attempts to amend the electoral law failed in the last two years.

We have united our forces ad we will win the elections. Be sure that the Croatian people  with its slate with 12 parties together will clinch a convincing win at the elections. We will get them being united, said Čović.

Plenković: Status of BiH Croats high on the agendas of international forums

Plenković told the convention that the status of Bosnia and Herzegovina Croats had grown into an important topic on which they have persistently been working and that it is on the agenda with all allies and partners of the HDZ.

This topic has been imposed due to the work of the Croatian government, the HDZ, the HDZ BiH and other friendly parties, he added.

Plenković today welcomed the president of the European People's Party (EPP), Manfred Weber, and the EPP Secretary-General Thanasis Bakolas, who arrived in Zagreb  for the HDZ convention.

Representatives of ethnic Croats in Serbia and Montenegro, Tomislav Žigmanov, Jasna Vojnić, Adrijan Vuksanović and Zvonimir Deković, also thanked to the HDZ for the support to their communities.