Izetbegovic defends US-black-listed FBiH PM, saying he did a good job


Fadil Novalic was a good Prime Minister of Bosnia’s Federation (FBiH) entity, his party leader Bakir Izetbegovic said Wednesday pointing out that Tuesday’s US sanctions were uncalled for.

“I don't see the reason for this action of the US Embassy, Novalic just wanted to do some good things for the pensioners and inform them about it,” the Democratic Action Party (SDA) leader said.

The US Department of Treasury said that “in his official capacity as Prime Minister of the FBiH, Fadil Novalic (Novalic) misused pensioner data for the benefit of his own political party and contrary to BiH law. In the week before the 2018 elections, Novalic used pensioner data he acquired through his official position to send out letters listing his accomplishments and promising increased pensions in a country where the issue of pensions has strong political salience. This action violates BiH law and reflects a larger, publicly reported pattern of using his position of political influence for personal or party gain, undermining democratic processes or institutions in BiH.”

“As far as I'm concerned, he was a good Prime Minister, the results are there, and we will decide on that, not the State Department,” he added.

When asked about his further aspirations after his defeat by Denis Becirovic for a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, he said that he has not thought about it – because it is too early.

“It is important that the SDA did well and that we will have good positions in the houses of representatives, as well as in the houses of the people,” he added.

When it comes to the implementation of election results, he was asked about possible agreements with Milorad Dodik, the leader of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) and Dragan Covic, the leader of the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ BiH), but also with the opposition from the Republika Srpska (RS) entity, which were linked to speculations about a plan to form government at the state level with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and gather a large coalition around them.

“I see that as a mission impossible! The way they envisioned things is at the level of some wishes, not reality,” Izetbegovic said, adding that he had not spoken with former coalition partners Dodik and Covic.

When it comes to amendments to the BiH Election Law – he stated that he is not optimistic.

“We can only poison relations and complicate the situation by trying to change something important in the next few months,” he said.

It is necessary, he stated, to form stable coalitions and then possibly continue the talks.

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