Comment 31 Jul 17

Politicians' Worsening Feuds Threaten to Make Bosnia Ungovernable

A recently cancelled lunch in Mostar is just the latest sign that the country’s ferociously divided leaders are increasingly unwilling to meet – let alone agree on anything substantial.

Srecko Latal
BIRN
Sarajevo
Members of Bosnia's tripartite presidency: Bakir Izetbegovic, Dragan Covic and Mladen Ivanic [from left to right]. Photos: Anadolu, HDZBiH. Anadolu

Bosnia's politicians have used public meetings, TV shows or other opportunities for years to publicly oppose, besmirch and outsmart each other in a never-ending struggle to present themselves as the toughest, loudest defenders of their respective ethnic or political flocks.

Yet, once the TV cameras were turned off and government or parliament sessions were closed to the public, many of these public enemies resumed cordial, even friendly, relations.

Many of these politicians who in public acted as bitter enemies, hung out and toured the world together, established joint companies and paid family visits to each other.

After all, they depended on each other to maintain their various fiefdoms, built on ethnic fear, political and ideological division and social and cultural differences.

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