by Azhar KALAMUJIC
Zlatko Lagumdzija's SDP rushed to offer a justification for this lack of changes and accused its key partners, Haris Silajdzic's SBiH and Kresimir Zubak's the New Croatian Initiative (NHI) for cooperation with the SDA and the HDZ. Friendly parties from the Republic of Srpska, assessed as the weakest link in the functioning of the Alliance were accused of the lack of support and lack of principles. It was also stated that Ivanic's PDP at times openly cooperates with the SDS.
The SDP leadership openly discussed the problems within the Alliance ten days ago. In the discussion points for the session of the Chief Board of this political party, it was noted that parallel financial systems and institutions still exist. It was also asserted that the federation ministries of defense, finances and the social policy controlled by the SBiH, the NHI and Sefer Halilovic's Bosnian Patriotic Party (BPS) have been transformed into party outposts, and that numerous government agencies and institutes are still run by business clans and lobbies of the former authorities which used to control all the significant public investments.
The last assertion is correct inasmuch as according to the SDP the Alliance hasn't fully implemented changes of personnel in the ranks of the judicial authorities and the federation administration, which leaves the public with the more-or-less justified impression that the new authorities are in a lasting coalition with the former authorities. How else can we explain the fact that Bakir Izetbegovic, the son of the president of the SDA [Alija Izetbegovic] is still the head of the institute for urban planning and construction of the Sarajevo canton, and that the SBiH has ceded the prestigious position of the director of the University Clinical Center to Faris Gavrankapetanivc, a SDA official? The situation in important financial institutions is similar. For example a loyal SDA representative, Midhat Arifovic, was appointed as the director of the Tax Directorate of the Federation BH. And what should be the appropriate comment regarding the decision of the Federation BH government to start the functioning of the federation employment agency, whose founding and existence based on the decision of the previous Edhem Bicakcic's government was considered to be the biggest crime in the state?
Deceptions: There are many similar examples. Let us also mention that almost all Croat officers who several months ago wholeheartedly and in stolen luxury cars owned by the Ministry of Defense and the Federation BH Army responded to Ante Jelavic's call to join the founding of the armed forces of the third entity, have by now returned to the Federation BH Army.
The Alliance deceived itself and the voters when it announced a coup in the most profitable HDZ's companies in Mostar, "Aluminij" [Aluminum] and "Sokol". The Federation BH government appointed new governing boards, but HDZ's tycoon Milo Brajkovic is still firmly in control of the "Aluminij".
Concerned about the drop in the standing of the party, as well as the attempts of the partners from the Alliance to blame them for all the failures in the functioning of the authorities, the Social Democrats decided to strike first and accused the SBiH and NHI of opening their doors wide open to the defectors from the SDA and the HDZ and that their main purpose is to serve as "laundromats" for the former ruling parties. The SDP sought protection from the increasingly frequent criticism because of a lack of showdown with corruption and crime in the joint responsibility of the Alliance, which still hasn't carried out changes in the judicial authorities, especially in the prosecutor's office.
Sharp accusations coming from the SDP leadership, as could be expected, were not exactly welcomed by their partners in the Alliance. Kresimir Zubak struck back with the assertion that all parties do not participate with equal enthusiasm in the realization of the Alliance program, which is especially true of some of SDP politicians.
Zubak rejected criticism on the account of the NHI officials, claiming that the party he leads has miniscule influence on the Alliance personnel decisions, and that they have been unsuccessful in getting their people into any important positions. Secretary general of the SBiH and Federation BH vice-president Safet Halilovic rejected the accusations as well, emphasizing that the SDP is trying to pass blame for its own failures to its Alliance partners.
The coordinator of the Alliance and the leader of the Liberal Party, Rasim Kadic, spoke about possible worsening of the conflict within the Alliance. Kadic claimed that views of certain political parties are a reason for confrontation, but not for futile arguments.
Announced resignations: Despite attempts to hide the eruption of dissatisfaction of certain members of the largest post-election alliance, it is impossible to deflect the impression that the Alliance engine got stuck at the start. This is confirmed by announced resignations of a handful of federation ministers. Nikola Grabovac, the Federation Minister of Finances, said that he would resign unless the state budget inflow improves by September and the authorities are able to pay state pension fund arrears. Based on the current situation, Grabovac need not wait for another month. As a year ago, the Federation BH budget is mostly filled by the contributions from the relatively speaking Bosniak territories. Federation BH Police Minister Muhamed Besic has also announced a possibility of resignation. He is not hiding his dissatisfaction with excessive meddling of the IPTF in the selection of the Police director. The series of the dissatisfied Alliance officials would be joined by the academician Bozidar Matic, who some thirty days ago in protect took a vacation, from which he did not return to even transfer the duty of the chair of the Council of Ministers to his party boss Zlatko Lagumdzija.
Resignations that reflect the morale within the Alliance were spotted in the sports as well. We are witnessing the rotation of party representatives on the governing boards of sport clubs. The newly appointed management of the soccer club "Sarajevo", vide-president Predrag Kurtes, and members Damir Hadzic, mayor of Novo Sarajevo, the youngest SDP official, and Lagumdzija's close friend Rusmir Mesihovic, did not show up at the first session of the newly appointed club's highest management body, as they hadn't previously received a report about finances of the club from the president of the soccer club "Sarajevo", Besim Mehmedic. Consequently, the SDP trio in the club management announced its resignations, justifying that by the fact that members of the previous management team are still active in the club. Although the newly appointed management members denied that their resignations have a political background, those knowledgeable about the situation in this soccer club claim that Kurtes, Hadzic and Mesihovic actually wanted to show Mehmedic, an "experienced" minister and a member of the SBiH, who is the boss in the house. He responded by an unannounced departure to a vacation.