Comment 19 Jul 17

Bosnia’s Next Elections Could be a Game Changer

As internal acrimony consumes the nationalist camps, the 2018 elections could see a breakthrough by a reunited Bosnian left – transforming the country’s reform prospects.

Jasmin Mujanovic
People on the streets of central Sarajevo. Photo: Patrick Razenberg/Flickr

Election season in Bosnia and Herzegovina is already in full swing. Although the polls are still more than 14 months away, there is a shared consensus across political lines that the state government is in paralysis.

Curiously, none of the major political players is either able or willing to explain the origins of this crisis. In reality, each of the respective blocs has made their own unique, cynical contribution to this equation.

The Party of Democratic Action, SDA, the main Bosniak party, and their long-time coalition partner the Alliance for a Better Future, SBB, for instance, are re-energising the “hate” side of their long-running love-hate relationship.

The leader of the Croat Democratic Union in Bosnia, the HDZ, Dragan Covic, with Zagreb’s backing, is dusting off proposals for a “third entity”, even as Croat leaders in Bosnia proper increasingly abandon his almost entirely Herzegovina-based HDZ.

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