Bosnia SDP Denies Hatching Deal With Serbs, Croats

The Social Democratic Party denies reaching a secret political agreement with Serbian and Croatian parties in order to leave its party leader, Zlatko Lagumdzija, in office as Foreign Minister.Bosnia’s ruling Social Democratic Party, SDP, has denied accusations from its former coalition partner Party of Democratic Action, SDA, that it has agreed to a secret deal with the country’s main Serbian party, the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, SNSD.

The SDA claims that when the SDP and SNSD leaderships met near Banja Luka last week they signed a 21-point document agreeing to weaken Bosnia’s state-level institutions – a key Serbian demand.

Damir Hadzic, the SDP Transport Minister, on October 24 said that last week’s meeting in Banja Luka was not about politics but about solving economic problems.

“They say that the SDP signed a deal with the SNSD but there was no such document,” he maintained.

The SDA still argues its point, noting that the SNSD’s Milorad Zivkovic on Tuesday said his party had now got what it wanted in terms of strengthening Republika Srpska, the Serb-led entity.

The accusations follow in the wake of the Bosnian state parliament’s dismissal this week of the SDP deputy speaker, Denis Becirevic.

He was axed on the proposal of the other big Serbian party, the Serbian Democratic Party, SDS, which argued that he had no authority to send a protest note to Serbia for having called the Bosnian Serb-led entity, Republika Srpska, a state.

But a planned vote on the future of Lagumdzija as Foreign Minister was mysteriously abandoned after the SNSD abruptly dropped its initiative to force him out.

The party had called for Lagumdzija’s dismissal since August, saying that he told Bosnia’s UN representative to vote in support of a UN resolution on Syria without due consultation.

The small opposition Social Democratic Union, SDU, on Wednesday said that the fact that Lagumdzija had avoided his dismissal from the government thanks to the support of the SNSD points to the existence of a deal.

The SDU went on to accuse the SDP of agreeing to effectively dissolve Bosnia as a state as the price of ensuring Lagumdzija’s political survival.

“The real intentions of [SNSD leader] Milorad Dodik and [Bosnian Croat leader] Dragan Covic, who have found a suitable partner in Lagumdzija, are to encompass their ethnic territories, leading to Bosnia’s total dissolution,” the SDU claimed.

Bosnia’s state government was formed on February 10, more than 16 months after the general elections in October 2010.

The original coalition comprised the two Bosniak parties, the SDA and SDP, the two Serbian parties, the SNSD and SDS, and two Croatian Parties, the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ BiH, and its sister party, HDZ 1990.

The SDP-SDA coalition broke up in May and since then the SDP has demanded the dismissal of the SDA from the government.

It succeeded on October 22, when two ministers and a deputy minister from the SDA lost their posts.

The SDP’s plan is to get its new coalition partner, the Alliance for a Better Future, SBB, to take the vacant ministerial seats.

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