Florian Bieber:

Izbori u Bosni. Uobičajen biznis?

15.10.2014.

Florian Bieber:

Elections in Bosnia - Business as usual?

15.10.2014.

Prošlonedeljni izbori u Bosni su donijeli promjenu, ali se ne čini vjerojatnim da će to predstavljati neku razliku. Nema jasnog određenja pod kojim bi se izborni rezultati mogli ukratko sažeti. Povratak nacionalista tu mnogo ne pomaže. Prvo, Stranka demokratske akcije, glavna nacionalistička bošnjačka stranka, odnijela je nedvojbenu pobjedu u Federaciji, postavši najveća partija u svakom kantonu sa bošnjačkom većinom. U svim kantonima sa hrvatskom većinom HDZ je postao najveća partija. Uz to, obje partije dobile su odgovarajuća mjesta u bosanskom predsjedništvu. Međutim, mnogo manje je odjeknuo povratak nacionalističkih partija nego poraz socijaldemokrata (SDP). Godine 2006. i 2010. SDP je dobio mjesto u Predsjedništvu sa hrvatskim članom, njihovim popularnim kandidatom Željkom Komšićem koji se ovog puta nije kandidovao i koji se razišao sa SDP-om i osnovao dosta uspješnu stranku Demokratska fronta. Pobjeda HDZ-a je bila rezultat nemanja snažnog takmaca koji bi mogao mobilizirati ne samo Hrvate da glasaju za hrvatskog kandidata. Iako je glavni protivnik, Martin Raguž iz HDZ1992, pokušao da to učini, nije bio u stanju da privuče jezgro hrvatskih birača i onih koji se određuju kao Bosanci ili Bošnjaci. Tako je pobijedio Čović sa svojim nadmoćnim partijskim aparatom. Među bošnjačkim kandidatima polje je bilo prepuno, ali je Bakir Izetbegović odnio nadmoćnu pobjedu nad konzervativnim kandidatima kao što je bivši duhovni vođa islamske zajednice Mustafa Cerić, ‘kontroverzni’ biznismen Fahrudin Radončić i kandidati ljevice (shvatajući da su takve etikete varljive u bosanskoj politici) Emir Suljagić iz Demokratske fronte i Bakir Hadžiomerović iz SDP-a. Pobjeda Izetbegovića i Čovića je pobjeda dobro organizovanih stranaka i poraz socijaldemokrata u kojima su glasači vidjeli glavne krivce za nedostatak napretka u posljednje četiri godine.

U RS-u slika je kompliciranija. Dodik i njegov ‘Savez nezavisnih socijaldemokrata’ (ni savez, ni nezavisan, ni socijaldemokratski) izgubio je dosta podrške, uključujući njihovo mjesto u državnom predsjedništvu. Međutim, pobjeda Mladena Ivanića mogla bi se pokazati kao Pirova pobjeda pošto opozicija nije uspjela da od Dodika otme predsjedništvo u RS-u, iako su bili veoma blizu i izgleda kao da će Dodikova partija zavisiti od pozicije u parlamentu RS-a. Tako je Dodik znatno slabiji nego što je bio prije četiri godine, ali se grčevito drži.

Rezultati pokazuju slabljenje prevlasti u RS-u i poraz u Federaciji. Rezultat je povratak na vlast partija koje du dominirale u Bosni prije 2010. i pokazale malo sposobnosti ili volje da pokrenu konstruktivniju ili reformama orijentisanu političku agendu. Tako su izbori promjena bez promjene.

Dominanta bosanske politike koja je doprinijela osjećaju nemoći među mnogim građanima daje percepciju da niko nikad ne gubi i da je svako negdje na vlasti. Tako SDA nije bila na vlasti u Federaciji ali je držala mjesto bošnjačkog člana predsjedništva, HDZ je prvo bio isključen iz vlasti, ali se kasnije vratio kad je vlada preudešena. Partija Fahrudina Radončića ušla je u vladu ali je onda u proljeće smijenjena. Glavne opozicione partije u RS-u barem su neko vrijeme bile dio vladajuće koalicije na državnom nivou. Linije između opozicije i vlade postale su tako pomućene da su kombinacija višestrukih nivoa vlasti, velike koalicije i nestabilna većina rezultirali u dinamici gdje je svako bio u vlasti i nikoga ne možeš kriviti. Protesti u februaru 2014. su bili dijelom uslovljeni ovim generalnim osjećanjem da je cijela politička elita ne samo diskreditirana, nego i neprimjetna. Izbori nude mogućnost da se postigne (za bosanske standarde) jasna većina i opozicija i tako dobije prilika za jasniju političku kompeticiju. Trebaće vremena da to urodi plodom a izborni sistem koji daje neproporcionalnu težinu manjim partijama može zakočiti takvu dinamiku.

Ključno pitanje u narednim mjesecima i godinama biće da li je politička ljevica, koju u Federaciji predstavljaju SDP i Demokratska fronta, u stanju da formira koherentnu i reformiranu političku opciju. Ključ će biti u sposobnosti SDP-a da se reformiše i oslobodi Zlatka Lagumdžije, koji je zajedno sa Miloradom Dodikom najduže na čelu jedne partije. U RS-u, pitanje će biti da li će opozicija biti u stanju da nastavi konfrontiranje s Dodikom i moguće privuče neke koalicione partnere na njihovu stranu.

Na kraju, zabilješka o EU, iako je najnoviji izvještaj o progresu objavljen samo nekoliko dana prije izbora, izgleda da je imao malo uticaja. Ovo je opet odraz očitog nedostatka izbora, svako je za ulazak u EU i tako je ulazak u EU postao tako laskav i opće zajednički (i jednako opće ignorišući) cilj koji (trenutno) ne uspijeva da nađe mjeru prema kojoj će mjeriti rad političkih partija. Upadljiva odlika izbora je stalna dominacija političara koji su odavno na bosanskoj sceni. Iako ima nekih manjih pokazatelja promjene, kao što je ulazak Naše Stranke u parlament Federacije, politikom dominiraju oni koji su u njoj dugo vremena, bilo da su to oni koji su izgubili ili pobijedili na ovim izborima. Tako promjena ne dolazi kroz izbore nego kroz četiri duge godine između izbora. Da li će ovo biti kroz promjenu partija i njihovih lidera ili kroz pritisak odozdo nije jasno, ali izgleda vjerojatno da samo kombinacija ovo dvoje može donijeti bitniju promjenu. Međutim, to je uobičajen biznis u Bosni, a ovo jedva da su dobre vijesti.

The Bosnian elections last Sunday brought change, but it seems unlikely that they will make a difference. There is no clear heading under which the election results can be summarized. The return of nationalist does it little justice. First, the Party of Democratic Action, the main national Bosniak party, won a clear victory in the Federation, becoming the largest party in every single canton with a Bosniak majority. In all Croat dominated cantons, HDZ became the largest party. In addition, both parties won the respective seats in the Bosnian presidency. However, this result is less a resounding return of national parties as a defeat of the Socialdemocrats (SDP). In 2006 and 2010 the SDP won the Croat member of the presidency with their popular candidate Željko Komšić who did not run this time and split from the SDP to establish his fairly successful Democratic Front. Thus, the victory of HDZ was a result of the lack of a strong competitor who could mobilize also non Croats to vote for a Croat candidate. While the main contender Martin Raguž of HDZ 1990 tried to do this, he was unable to appeal to both the core Croat constituency and to self-identified Bosnian or Bosniaks. Instead, Čović with his superior party apparatus won. Among Bosniak candidates, the field was crowded, but Bakir Izetbegović, the incumbent won over conservative challengers like the former head of the Islamic community, Mustafa Cerić, the ‘controversial’ businessman Fahrudin Radončić and the leftist candidates (realizing that such labels are tricky in Bosnian politics), Emir Suljagić of the Democratic Front and Bakir Hadžiomerović from SDP. The victory of Izetbegović and Čović is victory for well-organised parties and a defeat of Socialdemocrats who have been seen by voters as the main culprits for the lack of progress in the past four years.

In the RS, the picture is more complicated. Dodik and his “Alliance of Independent Socialdemocrats” (neither an alliance, nor independent, nor socialdemocratic) lost a lot of support, including their post in the state presidency. However, the victory of Mladen Ivanić might prove a Pyrrhic victory, as the opposition failed to capture the presidency of the RS from Dodik, even though it got very close, and it looks like Dodik’s party will hang on to power in the parliament of the RS. Thus, Dodik is considerably weaker than he was four years ago, but he is hanging on.

The results thus show a weakening of the incumbent in the RS and a defeat in the Federation. The result is a return to power of parties that have dominated politics in Bosnia before 2010 and displayed little ability or willingness to pursue a more constructive or reform-oriented political agenda. Thus, the elections are change without change.

A central feature of Bosnian politics that has contributed to the sense of disempowerment among many citizens has been the perception that nobody ever loses office and everybody is in power somewhere. Thus, SDA was not in power in the Federation, but it held the Bosniak presidency member, HDZ was first locked out of power, but came back later as the government was reshuffled. The party of Fahrudin Radončić joined government, but then he was dismissed in the spring. The main opposition parties in the RS were at least for some time part of the governing coalition at the state level. The lines between opposition and government became so blurred that the combination of multiple layers of government, grand coalitions and instable majority resulted in a dynamic where everybody was in power and nobody was to blame. The protests in February 2014 were not least a product of this general sense that the entire political elite is not only discredited, but also indistinguishable. The elections provides for an opportunity to have a (for Bosnian standards) clearly majority and an opposition and thus to provide for an opportunity for more clear-cut political competition. However, the fruits of such clarity will take some time and the electoral system that gives disproportional weight to smaller parties might throw a wrench in such a dynamic.

The key question in the coming months and years will be, whether the political left, represented by the SDP and the Democratic Front in the Federation, is able to form a coherent and reformed political option. Key will be the ability of the SDP to reform and rid itself of Zlatko Lagumdžija, the now longest serving party president with Milorad Dodik. In the RS, the question will be whether the opposition will be able to continue confronting Dodik and potentially pulling some its coalition partners on their side.

Finally, a note about the EU, although released the latest progress report just a few days before the elections, it seems to have had little impact. This is again a reflection of the apparent lack of choice, everybody is for EU accession and so EU accession has become such a bland and universally shared (and equally universally disregarded) goal that it (currently) fails to work as a yardstick according to which measure the performance of political parties.

A striking feature of the election is the continued dominance of long established politicians on the Bosnian scene. While there are few small signs of change, such as the entry of Naša Stranka into the Federation parliament, politics is very dominated those who have been at it for a long time, whether it is those who lost or those won these elections. Thus, change does not come through elections, but through the four long years in between. Whether this will be through a change of parties and their leaders or through pressure from below is unclear, but it seem likely that only a combination of the two might bring more substantial change. In the meantime, it is business as usual for Bosnia and this is hardly good news.

Florian Bieber je professor studija za jugoistočnu Evropu i direktor Centra studija za jugoistočnu Evropu na Univerzitetu Graz, u Austriji. Studirao je na Trinity Collegeu (USA), Univerzitetu u Beču i Cenralno-evropskom univerzitetu i doktorirao na političkim naukama na Bečkom Univerzitetu. Između 2001. i 2006. radio je u Beogradu (Srbija) i Sarajevu (Bosna i Hercegovina) za Evropski centar za pitanja manjina. On je gostujući professor na Programu za studije nacionalizma na Centralno-evropskom univerzitetu, a predavao je na Univerzitetu Kent, Cornell Univerzitetu, Univerzitetu u Bolonji i Univerzitetu u Sarajevu.

Florian Bieber is a Professor of Southeast European Studies and director of the Centre for Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz, Austria. He studied at Trinity College (USA), the University of Vienna and Central European University, and received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Vienna. Between 2001 and 2006 he worked in Belgrade (Serbia) and Sarajevo (Bosnia & Hercegovina) for the European Centre for Minority Issues. He is a Visiting Professor at the Nationalism Studies Program at Central European University and has taught at the University of Kent, Cornell University, the University of Bologna and the University of Sarajevo.

Ovaj tekst je prvobitno objavljen na Balkans in Europe Policy Blog i mi ga objavljujemo uz dozvolu autora (15.10.2014). [prevod: Dijalog BiH2.0]

This article was originally published on the Balkans in Europe Policy Blog and is re-published with the permission from the author (15.10.2014).

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