The decision of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia-Hercegovina about the constituent character of nations is beginning to lose its original meaning, because, instead of simple implementation before the set deadline, the ruling politicians transformed the decision into an object of their mutual conflict and compromise.
Thus, one vital legal decision has succumbed to monstrous and long political dealings although, if it were possible to find a political solution for this problem, it would not have become an issue for the Constitutional Court.
The main problem is between Bosniak politicians from the Federation and Bosnian authorities, and politicians from the Republic of Srpska, because both of them have fallen into contradictions trying to promote their specific interests through the implementation of the decision. Politicians from Srpska have two conflicting views. When they talk about Srpska [where Serbs are a majority], they give precedence to sovereignty of the entity to sovereignty of constituent nations, and when they talk about Bosnia-Hercegovina [where Serbs are the second largest ethnic group] they give precedence to the rights of constituent nations, while they view state sovereignty of Bosnia-Hercegovina as less important.
Bosniak officials believe that on the level of Bosnia-Hercegovina [where Bosniaks are the largest group], state sovereignty should have precedence over sovereignty of nations, while in the Republic of Srpska [where Bosniaks are a minority] they do the opposite and promote sovereignty of nations and try to devalue sovereignty of the entities.
In all of that, Croats [minority both in B-H and in Srpska] have the most consistent approach. They advocate either state sovereignty or national sovereignty, everywhere in Bosnia-Hercegovina, provided that all three nations have the same constitutional status.
National and state sovereignty are used depending on needs and interests, which is unacceptable, because it does not lead to a final and symmetric solution of this important problem.
With its decision, the Constitutional Court intended to protect individual equality of citizens and equality of constituent nations, while the current solutions proposed by the Constitutional Commission of the Republic of Srpska are devaluing its democratic essence. An obvious example of this is the solution according to which vital interests are protected in the Constitutional Commission which is an acceptable compromise solution, but in the long term it is a bad and undemocratic solution.
Vital interests of a nation as its highest interests can be protected only by an institution that has legitimacy among the voters and whose members are elected directly by a majority of voters in a certain ethnic group. That means that vital interests of a nation can be properly protected and represented only by representatives who have received votes of more than a half of electorate from their respective ethnic groups. The institution that protects vital interests must be an integral part of the constitutional and legislative authorities, i.e. a chamber in the National Assembly of Srpska. A house of nations is the only democratic solution for the implementation of the decision of the Constitutional Court and it is a pity that this solution will not be adopted.
The Serb Democratic Party, which ten years ago forcefully advocated a house of nations, is now abandoning this concept and questioning the importance of this parliamentary body, which is bound to backfire.
If the house of nations is rejected in Srpska, that also undermines the authority of the house of nations in the Federation BH and in the BH parliament. The ruling parties, the SDS and the PDP, with their rejection of the introduction of a house of nations in the National Assembly of Srpska gave a strong argument to those forces that want to change the Constitution of BH and the Dayton agreement.
How will they defend their political views when those who want to change the BH Constitution request that the house of nations of the BH Parliament be replaced by a constitutional commission? If that solution successfully works for Srpska, why shouldn't it work for Bosnia-Hercegovina as a whole?
We must recall that in the BH Parliament in 1990, there was a council for national equality and that that was a bad solution, because it failed to secure equality of nations. If at the time we had a house of nations, Croat and Bosniak representatives could not have declared independence by a simple majority vote.
Short term political benefit can easily become a long term political loss and the leadership of Srpska is responsible for its oversight of this historical fact.