Bosnia's two main Serbian and Croatian parties, the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, SNSD, and the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, agreed in Mostar to join entity and state-level governments together. They said they now seek a partner among the Bosniaks.
At a meeting on October 30 held in the HDZ's headquarters, SNSD president Milorad Dodik and the HDZ's Dragan Covic agreed on the formation of new governments and invited Bosnia's main Bosniak party, the Party of Democratic Action, SDA, and others, to join them.
“As the winning parties among the Serbs and Croats respectively, we have agreed on how to implement what we offered in our campaigns as fast as possible,” Covic said.
“We clearly agreed that the same [political] composition should be reflected at all levels [of government]... to avoid any kind of blockades of [caused by] divided jurisdictions,” he added.
Covic was referring to the political logjams of the last four years, when different parties formed governments at cantonal, entity and state-level.
Much of the four years was effetively lost in political blockades and battles between different parties.
“We are awaiting a reaction from Sarajevo in order to finish the main part of the job by the end of the year,” Covic continued.
After the 2010 elections, Bosnia's Federation entity had to wait until March the following year before an entity government was formed.
It took almost a year to form the Council of Ministers, as the state-level government is called.
On that occasion, the main parties in the Federation, led by the Social Democratic Party, SDP, bypassed the HDZ in forming a government, prompting the latter to call the new government illegal.
The HDZ and SNSD closened ties even before this October's elections. The SDA is seen as likely to work with them, as the Bosniak party that won most votes.
“The partnership of the HDZ and SNSD has lasted many years, which is now confirmed through our partnership in the formation of the government,” Dodik said. “The HDZ is our only interlocutor among the Croatian people [in Bosnia],” he added.
Covic meanwhile said he had already met the vice-president of the SDA, Bakir Izetbegovic, but that the leaderships of the two parties had yet to meet.
The standpoints of of the Alliance for a Better Future, which came second among Bosniaks in the election, and of the Democratic Front, a multi-ethic party that came second in the Federation entity, remain unclear.
A complicating factor is that the opposition bloc in Bosnia's smaller entity, Republika Srpska, led by the Serbian Democratic Party, SDS, is also claiming a right to participate in the formation of entity and state-level governments. It is likely to want to hold its own talks with the other parties.