Ivana Maric is a BH political analyst
Despite of the obvious crisis in relations of coalition partners SDA – SBB and HDZ BiH, as well as the stalemate in the work of FBiH Parliament, these parties refuse to admit the real reasons of the crisis in FBiH. They even refuse to admit there is one.
Political analyst Ivana Maric told us it is evident that the coalition SDA-SBB and HDZ BiH does not function and that there have been problems from the start.
- First they believed the problem was solved by Democratic Front (DF) leaving, and SBB coming in. It seems, however, that the long-time and loyal partners SDA and HDZ also do not get along so well. Situation is clear only in the RS as it is obvious out there who is the power, and who the opposition is. It is also known at the state level, even though the opposition at the state level has slowed down. They don't have any concrete activities and as such do not represent any threat to the leading coalition, Maric says.
She points out the situation in Federation where the leading coalition has the majority and does not have any significant rival, so they should be able to agree on everything and pass the laws from Reform agenda, yet they keep 'tripping' on unclear legislations.
- HDZ complaints that they get over voted, but the questions remains if the leading coalition has to always vote the same. What I consider positive is the fact that the opposition supports the disputed legislation. However, it is sad that the political parties 'take the citizens hostage' again and again, pretending to be protecting their interests and using that for personal interests of party officials, Maric explains.
This situation will not affect the local elections in terms of participation.
- People are still lethargic and disappointed from the last elections. There's no genuine opposition and the citizen participation in the election will be less than before, particularly because it is about local level where everything seems clear. I think that SDA and HDZ will win the most of mayor seats, again so, and that the RS will see another interesting fight between Alliance for Change (Savez za promjene) and SNSD. I do not anticipate any big change as it is obvious that the citizens are not so quick to react, particularly because they do not see what is going on. They did not react to the new taxes on salaries, increase of prices, so I doubt they will protest even after this, Maric says.
The worrying stalemate of BiH on the road to EU could last until the end of the year, Maric thinks.
- We delay everything until September. We have an arrangement with IMF, which will be decided upon in September, pronouncement of credible application of BiH also in September, now we have pending legislations with the Federal Parliament, with no sessions held until September, and I doubt it will happen even then because that's when the election campaign officially starts. Then we have government elections – I'm afraid we could see restructuring of the government at higher levels should the ration of power at the local level be affected. All that said, I'm afraid the progress will be delayed until the end of the year, Maric underlines.
When it comes to the issue of elections in Mostar, this analyst believes all the deadlines to be passed and that Mostar will not see elections this year.
- It looks like there will be no elections in Mostar. They had a deadline until 2 August, yet we see no agreement on horizon. What we do have is a disagreement in SDA between the central and local administrations, which keeps us away from the elections. This situation works well for both HDZ and SDA as they continue to do as they please in Mostar for another 4 years or less. They already have the power out there. So why should they bother and make an effort unless for the international community pressure. The citizens do not react because it is obviously acceptable to them, Maric holds.
Although the government officials often speak about how big steps have been made towards EU integration and that some important reforms have been made, Maric thinks the opposite.
- Reforms were just symbolic, nothing big. The citizens do not feel any benefit or improvement from the complete reform agenda. The citizens now have to give more money, the taxes are bigger and salaries smaller. On the basis of just a few decisions, the government will take away from the citizens more than 400 KM/per annum. They started the reform agenda in the way which only imposes additional salary deductions, higher prices and additional loans, Maric says.
Ivana Maric is a BH political analyst. Her interests include political marketing, political psychology, election campaigns, political propaganda, public relations, BiH Constitution reform, public administration and local self-rule. She holds master’s degrees from the Faculty of Political Science and the Faculty of Economy in Sarajevo.
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