Bosnian Candidates Accuse Croatian Officials of Paternalism

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, September 26, 2018 – A candidate for the Bosniak member of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite state Presidency Denis Bećirović on Wednesday joined in criticisms of Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and other Croatian officials, accusing them of paternalism and of meddling in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s internal affairs by openly supporting the Bosnian Croat HDZ BiH party.

Bećirović’s criticism comes a day after Željko Komšić, a candidate for the Croat member of the state presidency, strongly criticised Grabar-Kitarović.

Bećirović, whose candidacy is supported by the Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina (SDP BiH), sent an open letter to Croatia’s state leadership, saying that their unacceptable treatment of Bosnia and Herzegovina had to end. “It is high time architects of the feigned protection of the Croat people left Bosnia and Herzegovina alone and stopped promoting the already seen harmful paternalist policy. It is high time they stopped with their insincere policy towards Bosnia and Herzegovina, and for the sake of Croatian citizens, too,” Bećirović says in his letter.

Currently Bećirović runs neck to neck for the Bosniak (Muslim) member of the tripartite presidency in elections scheduled for October 7, his rivals being the candidate of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) Šefik Džaferović and the candidate of the Alliance for a Better Future (SBB) Fahrudin Radončić.

In an evident allusion to the fact that officials of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) of Croatia have been actively involved in the election campaign of their sister party in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as was the case in all post-war years, the SDP candidate for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Presidency called on Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović to take steps so that Croatian officials “stop spreading false information about Bosnia and Herzegovina on the international scene and pretending to be its emancipators.”

Such an approach demonises Bosniaks without any reason and “essentially and actively undermines the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Bećirović. He also called on Croatian officials to stop advocating the establishment of an election system in Bosnia and Herzegovina which, in his opinion, promotes segregation and is based on ethnic background, describing it as promotion of racism rather than of democracy.

Bećirović also sad that Croatia should stop glorifying an ideology that was sentenced by the international criminal tribunal in The Hague as a joint criminal enterprise, and to stop with practices that the European Court of Human Rights has described as serious discrimination. “If the unauthorised and anti-Dayton interference of the highest Croatian officials in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s internal affairs continues”, Bosnia and Herzegovina will have to consider a response, said Bećirović.

The response could consist of publicly making Croatia “face” issues such as interference in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s election processes, public display of Ustasha insignia, threatening statements by some Croatian parliamentarians against Bosnia and Herzegovina, the honouring of convicted war criminals, “incursions” by Croatian officials into Bosnia and Herzegovina’s territory, and Croatia’s “abusing” the fact that it is a member of the EU and NATO.

He also noted that Grabar-Kitarović’s “accusing Bosnia and Herzegovina and implying that it is a base for fanatics and terrorists” was a recycling of first Croatian president Franjo Tuđman’s policy.


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