bosnia report
New Series No: 37-38 January - March 2004
 
From 'Through Bosnian Eyes'
by Mirko Pejanovic

‘Next we visited Alija Izetbegović, in the offices of the SDA, which were then in the municipal building of Stari Grad, Sarajevo. We congratulated him, wished him success in his future work and added our hopes for cooperation between our parties in Parliament. Izetbegović said in response something that made a deep impression. He said that the future of democracy in Bosnia, and of Bosnia itself, must lie in modern European social democracy. Matters had fallen out otherwise, but this would remain the only viable solution for the future of Bosnia. Thus, his answer to our congratulations on his victory was to wish that responsibility for the political future of Bosnia had gone to the parties that we ourselves represented: the DSS and our coalition partner the SDP. I feel that in saying this Izetbegović showed himself both clear-sighted and honest regarding the development potential of the political structures of Bosnia, given its ambitions to join the community of European states. It was a totally spontaneous comment, but it suggested Izetbegović was already aware that the victory of the three national parties did not necessarily mean prosperity for Bosnia and its people. While our visit may have prompted Izetbegović to make this statement, subsequent events were to show he had already considered the nature of modern democracy and its rules. He realized that contemporary democracy in Europe, at its most advanced, has nothing to do with ethnic homogenization or the confinement of political interests to ethnic membership.’

Mirko Pejanović, Through Bosnian Eyes, TKD Š ahinpašić, Sarajevo 2002, p. 44.    Mirko Pejanović was first president of the DSS, a party formed from the communist-era Socialist Alliance, which contested the first multi-party elections in B-H in coalition with the (former communist) SDP. The elections, held in November1990, resulted in a victory for the three national parties HDZ, SDA and SDS, who had formed an electoral pact. Pejanović later became a member of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s wartime presidency, and founder president of the Serb Civic Council.

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