Landmark Deal or Landmark Failure?

On Tuesday, November 20, 2012, the leaders of the six major parties in BiH who are commonly known for their failure to agree on much of anything, struck a deal on the implementation of the Sejdic and Finci v. Bosnia and Herzegovina case.

The six parties came up with a universal solution which would "speed up BiH's economic development and create efficient public administration.'' The new adopted deal proposes to ''respect the principle – by implementing the court's decision – that members of one people cannot vote for representatives of another" said Dragan Covic, president of HDZ-BiH. The idea behind the deal of the ruling six is simple – further ethnic division and maintained power for the political elite. In the end, it all comes down to profit making since being a politician in BiH is the most profitable vocation. If a person is able to tiptoe between the laws and regulations, they are able to rise above the law and abuse the national resources and government property. Further decentralization of BiH allows easier manipulation and more opportunity for the corrupt political elite to abuse their power and position. This underlying reason creates problems around the already troubled idea of BiH's national identity and it further deepens ethnic divisions.

The attempts of the international community and the civil society in BiH to strengthen the state institutions have been significantly disturbed by this deal. The attempt to advocate for national interests of ethnic groups has led to the creation of an abyss which will, if this rhetoric continues, suck in what is left of BiH's unity and any hope of future progress. It is time for the citizens of BiH to let their voices be heard, and let go of the fear of being 'isolated' from their ethnic group. BiH belongs to all citizens, but dividing it into small parcels makes it a home for no one. The international community has created an obligation in the past 17 years to uphold the idea of a democratic and multiethnic state but these values are threatened today by the political elite and if pressure is not exerted soon, citizens of BiH will have to face an era of 'democracy on paper' and a further push into the molds of ethnicity and a dissolved national identity.