A statement made on January 21st, by the leader of the Party of Democratic Action (PDA) in BiH about voters who keep electing Milorad Dodik for his secessionist policy caused confusion among those who interpreted the statement as Bakir Izetbegovic’s hatred toward Serbs.
Speaking about what he thinks is behind Dodik’s policy and whether the Bosnian Serb political leader is serious when he keeps announcing the secession of the Bosnia’s Serb-majority Republika Srpska (RS) entity, Izetbegovic said that he believes Dodik wants to be remembered as a politician who kept the idea of secession open for some possible future times when such a thing would be possible.
When asked whether he was talking about the Serb people as a whole, he said that he was talking about “voters who are supporting him because they want his rude behavior.”
Dodik, who currently chairs Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency, said on Saturday (23.01) that he is congratulating Izetbegovic for his honesty, adding that the Bosniak political leader finally showed what kind of Serbs are acceptable to him and his party – “those who are suitable and serve Bosniak interests.”
The leader of the United Srpska party, Nenad Stevandic, said Izetbegovic’s statement represents “pure fascism” and such an ideology “targeted peoples and then destroyed them and killed them, creating concentration camps such as Jasenovac.”
The head of the caucus of the Party of Democratic Progress (PDP), Perica Bundalo, said that Izetbegovic’s statement was “another stupidity”, which is raising political tensions and which is not contributing to reconciliation in BiH.
The President of the Serbian Parliament, Ivica Dacic, told that “there are people whose only future is the past and who would lose their popularity if they would not be talking this way”. Dacic said that the statement is “not adding to the stability of the region.”
Statements like the recent one by Bakir Izetbegovic, the leader of the main Bosniak ethnic party in Bosnia, are not good for anybody and it speaks more about him than about Serbs, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said.
Sociology professor at the Banja Luka University Dusko Vejnovic told that politicians in BiH have to refrain from hate speech and from dangerous statements that refer to people and collectives.
“As the High Representative has emphasized several times in the context of war crimes denial and the glorification of war criminals, there are no bad peoples, there are only bad individuals”, the Office of High Representative commented.