Your comment on the differing political affinities of your partner, the PDP, on RS and BH levels?
I assume that it is likely that some kind of stipulations were involved. RS can't expect to make a move in the economic sense without the support of the international community. Most likely the attitude of the international community was that it will not support the RS Government if it does not support the Alliance for Changes at the level of BH central institutions, so it was a contrived system in which we lose. Because if the goal is to build central institutions to the detriment of the entities, then that is a losing position from the very start. Then it would have been better to participate in the joint organs with more influential names, aware of the fact that the international community which supports BH and the entities will overrule the joint organs if it so chooses. But the mental cast of our politicians is such that they want to be as close as possible to the cash register. The real power of government and finances is still very much concentrated in the entities and that is why this is more attractive to people who think about themselves too much. On the other hand, the RS Government, the previous administration at least, could not have cared less about the people in joint institutions. It was more like a circus in itself. Do we need to explain that there are ministers and deputies there who have been going to work for two years using their private vehicles?
You mentioned "closeness to the cash register" as a strong motivating factor for politicians. Why did parties from RS then so nonchalantly renounce ministries which would have given them this closeness at the BH level?
A poor choice of ministries is the exclusive weakness of our negotiators and I suspect it is the result of personal animosities. There are people who hate Milorad Dodik more than they love RS. This is not a healthy policy. Never mind the fact that I was in the opposition during the Dodik government.
Those who are not ready for dialogue inside RS cannot say that they wish her prosperity. I must say that my partners from the PDP, whom I support in principle, made a worse choice for minister of foreign economic relations than Milorad Dodik would have been.
Does Dodik deserve a position in the Council of Ministers?
I think that he was a solution and that is what is called politics. And that everything else is called hate. Because Serbs are advocating the decentralization of BH and the Social Democratic Party of Zlatko Lagumdzija is the incarnation of centralization. Milorad Dodik, as an Independent Social Democrat, should have demonstrated that these two options don't go together. The precedent created by the chairman of the BH Presidency, Zivko Radisic - to appoint Bozidar Matic as prime minister-designate of the Council of Ministers together with Halid Genjac before the constitution of the Chamber of Citizens - was a tragedy which RS will have to pay for.
What will happen to the Federation, and to BH in general, if Stjepan Kljuic and Kresimir Zubak distance themselves from the Alliance for Changes due to their dissatisfaction with the distribution of appointments in the executive government - and draw nearer to the positions of the Croatian Democratic Alliance (HDZ)?
Those of us from RS had the chance for the first time, if there had been by some chance some maturity among our politicians, to demonstrate that we have a stable RS and that the Federation is the source of all political and economic instability. Radisic should have told both the international community and the domestic environment that the BH Federation Government must be constituted because the RS Government was constituted and the BH Parliament is not constituted without a Chamber of Citizens. And after the constitution of that chamber, he should have forced our federal partners to accept either a compromise or a parting of ways. Then, of course, he would endorse the appointment of the Croat proposed by Jelavic [for prime minister-designate of the Council of Ministers]. That would be the normal course and RS would have freed itself of the role of a destructive factor with respect to the Federation.
The expectations of our politicians that they would get something out of this clash were a mistake. There is talk of a third entity; it is probable that the inclinations of the international community will not be in that direction but they will form a intermunicipal council with the Croatian majority. That council erodes RS.
In what way?
Because according to the census of 1991 they will affect some municipalities that now belong to RS. So it turns out we did everything possible to our own detriment. Something else: the politics led by Radisic has shown that the principle of consensus, rotation and parity has fallen through, and that it is possible for two to take action against the third. What's going to happen tomorrow if the Croats and the Bosniaks come to agreement to do something against RS? What good is Zivko Radisic's whining about how this isn't fair and how it's an unprecedented diplomatic scandal going to do us? None! We should not have allowed ourselves to assume the destructive role in that process. We had every argument to state that the government in RS is stable, which it is, because a SDS-PDP coalition was created, and we simply should have waited for a resolution of the crisis between the Croats and the Bosniaks and watched from the sidelines.
Is the Alliance for Changes a repeat of the Unity Coalition?
It is not only a copy but, unfortunately, it will produce similar results. I am bothered by the fact that the political parties from RS allowed themselves to enter a coalition with Sefer Halilovic and Haris Silajdzic with whom not even the HDZ will work. All the stories along the line of "We won't work with Haris. He belongs here or there" have fallen through. The current version of the story is that the Serbs should be extradited to the Hague while those who committed crimes throughout Sarajevo should be transformed into peacemakers.
It appears that the sole purpose of our pre-election campaigns was to deceive the public. There will be a gradual sobering process. If the government of Milorad Dodik had managed to keep payments coming to government beneficiaries, it would still be in power today.
The SDS and the PDP came to power thanks to powerful anti-corruption pre-election rhetoric among other things. Is the present situation the calm before the storm or a prologue to the amnesty of corruption figures?
I don't think that it's either of those things but a continuation of activity. A climate for corruption was a long time in the making in RS and BH. The mental cast of people who intend to work normally is tuned in to corruption. I think that the crime rate will not decline because it cannot be cut off overnight and because corruption doesn't have a narrow party affiliation. People from that domain are interconnected regardless of their ethnicity or party affiliation. Of course, the result will also depend on the course the Government takes and sanctioning of past scandals. First and foremost, there is no political will to resolve this because the moment when representatives of the government find that people who are nominally their people are involved in scandals - all the processes stop.