Ministers from the main Bosnian Croat party, the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, skipped the session of the Federation entity government on Thursday in a continuing dispute with coalition partners over the appointment of managers in public firms.
The president of the Federation entity, Marinko Cavara, who is also Vice-President of the HDZ, said that all the coalition partners, including the HDZ, the [mainly Bosniak] Party of Democratic Action, SDA, and the [non-ethnic] Democratic Front, DF, have to reach decisions mutually.
“Ministers from the HDZ could not accept to agree on one thing - and then do something else,” Cavara said.
Disagreements over the appointment of managers in public companies, such as the state telecom firm and other large state-owned industries, have troubled relations among coalition partners from the beginning.
The DF wants ministers to appoint the managers of companies in their own sectors while the HDZ insists on the entire government voting on all those issues.
“The DF has to understand that, if they are a part of a coalition, they should behave in that way,” Cavara said.
However, he added, the three-party coalition was not in danger and problems could be solved by compromise.
The President of the HDZ, Dragan Covic, said in an interview with the Sarajevo daily Dnevni avaz on Thursday that the SDA and HDZ were at one on this issue. “How can we be in coalition if we don’t have a common stand over key questions?” Covic said.
The dispute over this issue also reflects deep personal animosities among some officials from these two parties. Conflicting ideologies, agendas as well as personal animosities blocked the formation of a Federation entity government for months.
A government was finally elected at the end of March but, many senior government officials admit it remains quite dysfunctional as the three main parties in government continue waging their little wars.
A further escalation of animosities could topple the Federation government, which would then force a change in the ruling coalitions at state level and at other administrative levels.
Par: Elvira M. Jukic