Last night, Fahrudin Radončić, president of the Alliance for a Better Future (Savez za bolju budućnost SBB), Elmedin Konaković, president of the People and Justice (Narod i Pravda NiP), and Alma Čolo, member of the Presidency of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) were guests of Senad Hadžifejzović's show "Centralni dnevnik" on Face television.
The backbone of the talks were the negotiations that were held in Neum under the auspices of the international community, more precisely the United States of America and the European Union.
In the introduction, Radončić explained regarding the criticism that negotiations should be conducted in state institutions, that it is not a matter of where negotiations are conducted.
- It is not a matter of where we negotiate, it is important that there are predispositions for an agreement, that everything must end in Parliament. None of us thought that we were working outside the institutions of BiH - said Radončić.
Radončić, Konaković and Ogrešević defended the civic concept
Hadžifejzović was interested in what was happening in Neum.
- I think that there were very principled talks, very direct talks, I think it is very good that NiP and people from the SDA came. I think Mr. Konaković is doing a very good thing. You know, it is easy for Mr. Nikšić, Kojović, I don't know, Forto, to throw stones at Izetbegović when he is not there, or Čović. Sit down, guys, if you have that thing, look into Mr. Čović's face and tell him. Look into Mr. Izetbegović's face and tell him. Konaković, Ogrešević and Radončić sat there completely normally, and came to the situation of defending the civic concept more than those who have been collecting political or election points because of that over the years - said Radončić.
Konaković emphasized that it was crucial to come to Neum.
- We prefer to continue negotiations. The organizers of the negotiations are the representatives of the American Embassy and Mr. Palmer, as a special envoy, and somehow it was not possible for me to refuse that invitation, wherever it happened. The talks were "hard", difficult and were the crown of a process that lasted for years. Today, I even prefer that we showed up and I think that colleagues from the civic bloc had to show up there, so that foreigners can see how much this civic concept has come to life, at least in the part where Bosniaks are the majority - said Konaković.
Alma Čolo emphasized that this was a unique opportunity to implement the judgments of international courts in the BiH Constitution.
- To ensure the conduct of elections in accordance with European standards. They have put the integrity of the election process in the first place – Čolo pointed out.
Radončić said that they did not adopt the integrity of the elections…
- We have not adopted something called the integrity of the elections, the whole package. At the meeting of the opposition, where we all signed that the integrity of the elections must be resolved first, in order for us to participate in further work, electronic voter records are envisaged. They thought they'd get us through this, and I reacted and said, "Wait, we didn't make a deal like this." The CEC gave an interpretation for these elections, our public, just like we are Biafra, is not ready to have electronic elections, but we will do it for the local elections in two years, and thus foreigners practically participated in the fraud. Because the CEC is, I said there, a politicized organization. Two SDS members, two HDZ members and one of Komšić's advisers are part of CEC, and they estimate that we as a nation are not mature enough to have fair and honest elections. Elections as we have in Serbia, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia and so on. And that point passed as a kind of honorable exit that we adopted it in part, but we raised our hand and said "wait a minute" - said Radončić.
HDZ does not want to make a deal
Konaković added that without the whole package, nothing can be partially adopted.
- There is one quick implementation of some untested software. We must have regular, lawful, legal elections. This is also a two-thirds amendment of the Constitution. My general impression is that the HDZ does not want to make a deal, to conduct negotiations, so they were not happy when these concrete solutions of international mediators came. I think that the tension with Komšić benefits them to the extent that they mobilized everything else and that they won dozens of positions and that they killed pluralism in the Croatian corps - said Konaković.
Čolo added that the SDA is in favor of deleting the prefix.
- It is a step towards the future of BiH. The agreement suits us. They blame Izetbegović for not making proposals, we gave all the proposals to eliminate discrimination. Whoever advocates for the Croatian people to elect a Croatian member of the Presidency, let him propose that - said Čolo.
The president of SBB explained that the strategic Croat-Bosniak relations are being resolved, which are in big trouble and that the participants in the negotiations in Neum from the Bosniak Corps are under a heavy burden.
- This is the tip of the iceberg - Election Law. And now we have a problem, and when we take a little genesis, why foreigners, why we have to use the authority of foreigners… We must have their attention, because when you look, in 1992, the Croats helped us on March 1st. Well, then we had the Washington Agreement, so we had Dayton, it is very important that Bosniaks and Croats have settled relations. We now have some demands from them that are maximalist - said Radončić.
The SBB leader and Čović polemicized three times
He added that he had polemicized with Čović three times.
- And three times the Venice Commission sided with me. They demanded that, when a member of the Presidency is elected, the Club of Bosniak or Croat Delegates decide whether he will be confirmed or removed. And then there is a conflict of two legitimacies, indirect and direct. And I told Čović that for the first, second and third time, and he never wanted to give up. The Venice Commission has said every time that my interpretation is correct. Someone who received 200-300 thousand cannot be overthrown by the members of the Croatian club, in which you have a majority of eight people who were indirectly elected. The candidate who won the largest number of electoral votes on the list was elected a member of the Presidency, and who is than confirmed by the Bosniak delegates of the House of Peoples of the Federation Parliament and the Croat ones. And after the third arbitration of the people from the Venice Commission who were at our disposal, Dragan gave up. I said every time: "Dragan, we cannot accept this." Imagine now, SBB is a leading party, which is not good for SBB, SDA is a very strong infrastructure party. Theoretically, the SBB candidate appears, gets 200-300 thousand votes, you have the majority in the House of Peoples, take that man down and appoint another. Why did the Croats want that, they went for the variant, if Komšić wins, they will appoint Čović, but these are things unacceptable from the position of legalism - Radončić explained.
Hadžifejzović asked if it was true that Izetbegović was mostly silent, which Radončić and Konaković denied and said that very exhaustive negotiations had been conducted until late at night and that the fight for the state had no alternative.
- That is the good side of our synergy. It is not a coalition. But this was very reflexive and justifies why we should have been there and why we had to talk - said Konaković.
Radončić said that the mistake of the international community, which is a participant is in the wrong approach.
- They constantly went to the SDA and HDZ for five years, so that they could agree on that. You others, you will say yes, you will join and so on. And now they have seen the benefits for the first time when other parties come to participate in the process. They have the Mostar agreement, which they did not implement, on constitutivity and so on. The relationship between Čović and Izetbegović is on the verge of personal antagonism. I’m not sure these two men want to agree on anything. Such is the atmosphere at the negotiations. I will always defend Bakir that he was very active in these negotiations. We stayed until 3 in the morning and consulted with each other. But I'm not sure you have another burden of negotiations. We have elected Mr. Komšić as a member of the Presidency of BiH three times, with the option to do so for the fourth time. It is a great thing for Croats that they cannot get over. So, the situation is too serious to be resolved in one session of three days - said Radončić and added that Čović and Izetbegović got tired of each other, that is, that there is no more material left.
Coalition for the defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina
The leader of SBB commented on Izetbegović's statement that he was surprised by the moves of Radončić, Konaković and Ogrešević in Neum.
- Bakir says he is surprised. Well that's an insult. I was in Sarajevo every day of the war. What are you surprised by? Bakir compliments us for another, very precise reason, but Bakir is in fear, he needs as wide a front as possible, because then he is not a radical. We have Dino, Radončić, Ogrešević, which is politically legitimate and wise on his part, he snuck in among all of us. He will take the result for himself, let him take it, but only to reach an agreement.
Konaković added that this is not the time for a "digitron"..
- This calculation by not making decisions has led to 100-150 thousand people leaving BiH every year. One whole city disappears. I especially told Čović and Izetbegović that, together with Dodik, they have the greatest responsibility. We are now emerging as mediators. At the end of the negotiations, Čović said: "I will respond if Radončić and Konaković call me." Well, now we shouldn't call. Of course, we will call because these times require courageous decisions, we do not have that at the moment - Konaković added.
Čolo stated that Izetbegović has been asking the international community for a year to involve other parties in the negotiations. Konaković said that they heard in Neum that the SDA and HDZ had met several times and that the processes were being conducted.
Radončić emphasized that this is a coalition, but only when it comes to the defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- We performed here in a very unique and synchronized way. There can be no opposition to what is called the defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Let the stories about the party's coalitions be resolved in the elections. That story is over - said Radončić.
Konaković said that overnight his family and he and party members were destigmatized because of Izetbegović's statements, and reiterated Radončić's words that they are not a coalition nor do they intend to be in a coalition. They underlined that there was no coalition with the SDA and that there were no talk about it in Neum.
- Mr. Čović told us, we are not resolving the issue of Dragan Čović because I will not run for a member of the Presidency of BiH. Konaković said very politely from the side: "Dragan, do I hear well and can I quote that?" And then Mr. Džaferović said: "I will not be a candidate either." And that was explained - "I have been advocating for 10 years for the Bosniak-Croat dialogue, to reach a solution. If we do not reach a solution, this policy is dead, someone else will come. Even if we agree, I have solved my problem and I can withdraw in peace." Then Džaferović said:" I will not run either," I said, it is already known about me, and I then I asked: "Bakir, you are not going to run either?" Bakir did not say anything - Radončić recounted.
The leader of SBB said that Čović made the situation even more difficult with his speech in the NARS.
- After such difficult sentences, even if they are taken out of context, you can't get so much out of context, it's not like you said, it made mediation difficult for the two of us tomorrow. Because the same Bakir will say, look, they are bringing Dragan like this, whose gears broke somewhere. He obviously has some maximalist goal, "I want to get a Croatian member of the Presidency", I quote him, "in the option that it is 100 percent". There is no democracy where someone can guarantee someone a 100 percent choice. And that is the cause of all the problems. We do not want to majorize Croats. We do not want to elect their member of the Presidency of BiH. Dragan certainly does not help us with that exclusivity. He has one sentence that is correct, I personally expected when it comes to leading the process, because the SDA has the personnel potential to offer those ideas, Dragan offers something, we say he can't, we offer, he says, well, I just I can not. This slowly became the position of the entire Croatian corps. They gathered around their national council and are acting together - said Radončić.
Milanović is reducing us to the people he will order, he will not be able to do that!
Konaković added that there is no political pluralism in the Croatian corps, that they act homogenously. Hadžifejzović reiterated statements by Croatian politicians that, even if no agreement is reached on the Election Law, there is a module for a third entity.
- Anyone who thinks he can create a third entity is doing the greatest damage to the Croatian people. It will not work for us or for the Croats. The Washington agreement was not made because someone wanted it for no reason. Here, the international community strongly insists that Croats and Bosniaks must stay together. To be stronger towards RS and for Bosniaks not to be alone. The international community has used much stronger levers and pressures in the past. Here is the responsibility of the international community. We can, and we have done that, say "gentlemen Croats, we understand you here", we understand that others should not choose your member of the Presidency, but these are red lines, where we cannot give in. But the international community must take responsibility. It is very bad for us when one media outlet attacks Schmidt, and in the end it turns out that they did not do that. These talks failed because there was no systematic conduct of the process for three days. The first point is the election standard. I expect the continuation, even if we can determine the red lines, which is an alternative to the negotiations - said Radončić.
Konaković added that it should be said who rejected the agreement.
- Negotiations should continue because of the agreement, and not because of the pressure of some HNS on the third entity. You have, on the other hand, a brave negotiating position of people who came ready to say - well, we think it's not fair, everything else is. I listened to terrible messages from Zagreb on HRT. I do not want to comment on Milanović. They say two or three times that Komšić was not constitutionally elected - said Konaković.