news 30 Jul 12

Bosnian Group Demands Abolition of Entities

A group of citizens is demanding the scrapping of the 1995 Dayton settlement, the return of the old Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the abolition of the two entities.

Elvira M. Jukic

The "Anti-Dayton Group" organized a gathering in Sarajevo for citizens to sign a petition demanding that the two entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska, be scrapped and a unitary republic be restored.

“We want the old constitution,” some supporters of the demand said, holding up the flag of the old war-time Bosnia.

A former Speaker of parliament, Miro Lazovic, told Balkan Insight that they were patriots who valued the pre-war constitution, which, he said,  gave every citizen the same rights.

“This is an attempt to stimulate politicians to take into consideration those values in the process of constitutional changes,” Lazovic said.

He added that if every citizen had the same rights in elections, it would also help Bosnia implement the Sejdic-Finci human rights ruling.

The 2009 European Court of Human Rights verdict said that Bosnia has to change its consitution and allow minorities run for top governing posts, which are currently reserved only for Bosniaks [Muslims], Croats and Serbs.

“The whole territory of Bosnia would then be homogenized,” Lazovic added.

“The Dayton Peace Accords is full of discrimination that should be ended,” he continued. “At this point there is not enough political will to end the entities, though it is possible since the aim of politics is changing.”

An activist of the Anti-Dayton Group, Edin Osmancevic, said that the entities were “denying the standards of multinational democratic countries”.

“The position of disintegrating and nationalistic forces is dominant and is blocking any kind of positive initiative for creating a true multi-ethnic and multicultural society,” Osmancevic added.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is composed of two entities, the Bosniak-Croat Federation and the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska entity.

The system effectively keeps all power in the hands of the three largest ethnic groups, Croats, Bosniaks and Serbs.

Minorities in Bosnia do participate in government but not in top governing posts.

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