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The Social Democratic Party on Tuesday said it was sorry the party's Vice-President, Zeljko Komsic, has decided to leave, adding that its planned constitutional changes are not discriminatory, as Komsic maintains.
“It was his personal decision to leave, and no one could affect it,” Zlatko Lagumdzija, the leader of the Social Democrats and Bosnia's Foreign Minister, said on July 24 in Sarajevo, referring to Komsic's demand to be removed from party membership.
Zeljko Komsic, also the Croatian member of the Bosnian State Presidency, on Monday said he could no longer remain a member of SDP owing to his dissatisfaction with key policies.
“As a politician and friend, I am sorry that my comrade Zeljko Komsic did that,” Lagumdzija told a press conference on Tuesday, referring to the resignation.
The SDP's plan to implement the 2009 Sejdic-Finci Strasbourg court ruling triggered Komsic's resignation.
The European Court of Human Rights told Bosnia to change its constitution to allow members of ethnic minorities to run for top posts, currently reserved for the members of the country's three biggest ethnic groups, Bosniaks [Muslims], Serbs and Croats.
Komsic said that the SDP solution discriminates against numerous people and urged the party to opt for a different solution that guaranteed equal rights to all citizens.
“It is time for the SDP to get back to what it used to promise citizens back in 2010,” Komsic said. “If there is no change, it is time for some new political processes and political facts in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
Komsic especially opposes the SDP solution to the method of electing members of the State Presidency.
The SDP proposal, backed by the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, its sister party HDZ 1990, and the Alliance for a Better Future, SBB, says the Presidency should be elected indirectly by the three caucuses in the House of Peoples, one of two chambers of the state parliament.
Komsic also complained that he was not consulted over the plan although he should have been as Vice-President of the party. He left the SDP session on Friday.
Lagumdzija added that Bosnia has to find a solution to the issue, or it may face dismissal from the Council of Europe, while the issue also obstructs Bosnia's path to European Union membership.
Lagumdzija said that Komsic's resignation from SDP will not reflect his membership of the State Presidency.
Komsic resigned all his party posts earlier this year, in March, saying that the SDP was not doing enough to address the real problems in the country, such as corruption. The party did not accept his resignation back then, however.
Bosnians are still puzzling over why the popular and populist Social Democrat quit ‘out of principle’ on Monday – only to dump those same principles and come back a mere two days later.
In two high-profile war crimes trials currently ongoing in Pristina, a series of witnesses have retracted previous statements alleging abuse at Kosovo Liberation Army detention centres.