Despite all the turbulence and problems Bosnia’s Presidency is facing since its three members were inaugurated last month, the Bosniak member believes that it eventually will start functioning properly because the law is above any of the three.
In an interview with N1 on Sunday, Sefik Dzaferovic said he was not happy when his Serb colleague Milorad Dodik left the meeting with the Peace Implementation Council over the absence of the flag of Bosnia's Serb-dominated semi-autonomous Republika Srpska (RS) flag in the room.
The members of the Peace Implementation Council, a body made up of ambassadors of countries which have signed Bosnia’s 1995 peace agreement as guarantors, have reacted very mildly, saying only they regret his act, he said.
On another occasion, Dodik violated Bosnia’s law when he displayed the RS flag in the Bosnian Presidency during a ceremony at which the newly appointed ambassador of Serbia was handing over his credentials, this way showing his disrespect toward the institution of the Bosnian presidency, Dzaferovic said.
“But what is important is that Mr Komsic and I have requested the relevant departments to make sure the law is applied. This is not a conflict between Dzaferovic and Dodik or Komsic and Dodik, it’s a conflict Dodik has with the law,” he explained.
Zeljko Komsic is the third member of the Presidency and represents Bosnia’s Croats.
"Those were attempts to violate the laws of this country,” Dzaferovic said. “But I will make sure the laws of this country will never be violated. We have institutions in charge of that. I hope things will start functioning as this is the only way to lead this country towards the EU and NATO.”
Immediately after he assumed his new post, Dodik has conditioned his own presence in the building with the display of the RS flag.
For more than a decade, he has been advocating the secession of Republika Srpska from Bosnia and recently said he believes his role as a member of the state Presidency is to protect and advocate only the interests of that region and not Bosnia and Herzegovina, the state he said numerous times should not exist.
He also stated right at the start that he will not agree with Bosnia’s NATO membership as long as Serbia keeps its military neutrality.
"We have our own NATO path and Serbia is not allowed, nor is it able to or will influence Bosnia’s NATO path, regardless of the efforts of many to connect the two,” Dzaferovic said.
Dodik has his own interpretation of the Dayton Peace Agreement and seeks to tweak its character but “I can say right now that this is not going to happen. The capacity of the institutions will not be undermined,” Dzaferovic said.
Every election is a new chance for the country to make more steps on its path toward economic and social reforms and conditions were created for Bosnia to move forward strongly.
“Mr Dodik will neither manage to damage the achieved level of reforms, nor the law. And not only him, but nobody else either,” Dzaferovic said."
"Neither the world nor this institution starts with the three of us. We have to obey the laws of this country, that’s the basis of the rule of law," he concluded.