ZAGREB, December 14, 2018 – The Croat member of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite presidency, Željko Komšić, said on Thursday that the Constitutional Court ruling in the Ljubić case was misinterpreted in debates on changing the country’s election rules.
Speaking in an interview with public television BHT 1, Komšić said it was important to realise that the Constitutional Court cannot interpret clear provisions of the Constitution, but that in its judgment on Bozo Ljubić’s appeal it only found that certain articles of election law clashed with the Constitution of the Federation, the country’s Bosniak-Croat entity.
He was referring to a provision, repealed by the Constitutional Court, saying that in each canton at least one deputy from each constituent ethnic group is elected to the Federation’s upper house of parliament.
Interpretations of the Constitutional Court ruling failed to notice that the Federation’s Constitution dictates that deputies are delegated only if they have been directly elected to the cantonal assembly, and that’s all what this ruling refers to, Komšić said.
Claims that it follows from the ruling that the constitutionality of ethnic groups is above all other principles, on which the Croat HDZ party insists, are wrong, as this principle is not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, he added.
Željko Komšić resolutely denied that the ruling in the Ljubić case could be relevant to the method of electing presidency members, and hence it could not serve as the basis for negating the legitimacy of his election.
Asked how he would protect Croat national interests in the present circumstances when it was certain that he could not expect that Croat deputies in the Federation’s upper house would cooperate with him, Komšić said he would react every time he estimated that these interests were jeopardised. “If I think that something is harmful to the Croat national interest, and the Croat caucus does not support it, then it is their problem to explain it,” Komšić said.
He said he had no intention of wasting his energy on quarrels and would use his term in office to do good things in accordance with the law.
Speaking of the situation in the region and threats it was facing, Komšić said that three major projects of territorial expansion – Albanian, Serbian and Croatian – continued to be a threat.
“Sometimes they are weak, sometimes they are strong, but they are here and should not be ignored. These narratives are not over and they depend on who is in power, but this is a political and social process in the Balkans,” Komšić concluded.
More news on the status of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina can be found in our Diaspora section.