2006-10-02

All for democracy, as long as I get elected

Voters in Bosnia's general election yesterday (October 1st) pushed the system to its absurd--but logical--extreme: it looks increasingly likely that Željko Komšić from the non-nationalist SDP might be elected Croat member of Bosnia's three-member presidency, with a substantial chunk of his vote coming from ethnic Bosniaks. The reason is simple: while the three co-presidents are representatives of Bosnia's three constituent peoples (Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks), voting is organized by entity. Residents of RS vote for the Serb member while residents of the Croat-Bosniak Federation vote for the Croat and Bosniak members. The SDP recognized that it stood no chance of winning against either incumbent Sulejman Tihić nor indeed Haris Silajdžić, whose victory last night was unexpectedly convincing, so they presented a candidate for the Croat member. Incumbent Ivo Miro Jović, who made a scene at the TV studio and insulted journalists there, announced that "Ivo Miro Jović will be the Croat member of the B-H Presidency or the Presidency will cease to exist," in a remarkable display of his understanding of how democracy works.

Expect preliminary results for the parliamentary elections (both at entity and central level)sometime tonight local time (press conference announced for 9pm).

14 comments:

Katja said...

Yeah way to enhance the image of the HDZ!

blahblahblah said...

I can see his point though. The whole reason a Croat member of the presidency exists is to represent BiH Croats. So, if the Croat representative is voted in by BiH Muslims he has no democratic legitimacy for the role he was elected to. Of course, it's all technically fair and above board , but that's not how BiH's Croats will see it.

Shaina said...

The latest article has Jovic slightly ahead for the Croat seat for the Presidency.

Of course, not all of the votes have been tallied yet; and it looks like it is still up in the air as to who will exactly be the Croat member of the Presidency.

Shaina said...

Here is the article where they make mention of Jovic's slight lead:
http://www.suntimes.com/news/world/79799,CST-NWS-bos02.article

I've just read other sources that made it seem as if Komsic's lead is very solid.

Which has left me, very confused.

Although I must admit, I would be very happy if a candidate from the SDP was elected to at least one of the chairs for the Presidency.

WARchild said...

Cross-pollination is good.

Katja said...

Well the way I see it, is at least a certain number of Croats had to have voted for the other guy to have Jovic not win.
Maybe the real story is HDZ isn't as powerful as it was.
The only way around it would be to have ethnicaly segregated primary elections or something.
We have the party segregated primaries in the U.S. maybe it could be done that way.
Still how would foreign election observers know who was what
ethnicity?

Shaina said...

I agree with Katja.

Komsic's lead was too great for it to be attributed just to Bosniaks voting for Komsic.
There had to be a good number of Croats as well voting for him.

I don't think ethnically segregated elections is a good idea though.

Ante said...

Kosmic would be lucky to have got 5% of his votes from Croats. Jovic loss can be attributed to the HDZ split (they ran two candidates) and the raise of the HSP.

Not sure how Kosmic can represent Croats anyway - he's and atheist, Croats are Catholic - he's claims to speak Bosnian, Croats speak Croatian -- He was denied Croatian citizenship by Croatia as there is no evidence of him being Croatian before 1990.

T K Vogel said...

Ante, last time I checked, the Bosnian constitution did not specify that the Croat member of the presidency had to be a Croatian citizen, nor did it say that the Serb member had to be a Serbian citizen. As for the language, if Croatian is the language spoken in Croatia, then it's only fair that Komsic doesn't speak it -- after all, he's from Bosnia and would, according to this logic, speak Bosnian. If Croatian, by contrast, is the language spoken by Croats wherever they may live, let's say in Sarajevo, then surely he does speak it.

Owen said...

Too much logic here, surely!

igor said...

I believe Komšić is not the only atheist Croat, but it's not important anyway, if the Catholics want to elect an atheist, so be it. The voters decide in the end.

In Slovenia for example, the only conditions for president are Slovenian citizenship and 18 years of age (and not being proclaimed insane of course). The people could then decide whether they want a president who is (e.g.) black Muslim Swahili-only speaker who just got the citizenship a year ago and is jailed for life in Canada.

As for his potential Croatian citizenship, it would be easier to discuss if you provided some detailed sources.

Ali da Hodza said...

What I don't get is how Haris is always described as a 'hardliner' for insisting that all people should have equal rights as citizens regardless of ethnicity. The post-Dayton world is pretty screwed if that is regarded as a hardline position.

Anyway, I think we are moving forward, though, with a strategy of one group electing moderates to piss off another. Maybe this is a way of channelling inat for a positive electoral purpose?

Jovan Tesla said...

What do the Croats want??? Don't forget that in the/that INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM in February 1992 it was the Croats 17-18% vote that got the referendum over the line and susubsequently legitimised Bosnia's secession from the former SFRJ. They were then voting for the creation of an independent Bosnian state and not for a GREATER CROATIA. So to all the Croatians dissatisfied with the selection of Zeljko Komsic remeber you voted for it in February 1992.

Eric Gordy said...

What silly reasoning.