Sarajevo Premier Starts New Bosnian Political Party

Balkan Insight
Publication date: 
Mar 13 2018

Elvedin Konakovic, the popular premier of the Sarajevo Canton, is starting his own political party after quitting the main Bosniak political force, the Party of Democratic Action.

Elvedin Konakovic has announced the launch of a new political party called People and Justice after resigning from the Party of Democratic Action, SDA, inviting potential supporters to attend its founding assembly on March 22.

“We [People and Justice] do not have our media, [so] we will rely on those who are brave and objective. Come on March 22 to see how many of us are there,” Konakovic wrote on Facebook on Tuesday morning.

He declined to reveal the names of any other politicians who will join the party at this stage, but said that People and Justice will soon be discussing who to run as its candidate for the Bosnian tripartite presidency in the upcoming elections in October this year.

The Sarajevo premier has attracted public support for his attempts to address the capital’s major problems with air pollution, water supplies and city transportation. He has also repeatedly warned that the problems were a result of the SDA's long-term neglect and mishandling of Sarajevo’s public services. 

Internal feuds and conflicting ambitions, as well as growing criticism of corruption and political patronage, have already led to several high-level desertions from the SDA in recent months. 

Three out of ten SDA MPs in the state House of Representatives - Senad Sepic, Salko Sokolovic and Sadik Ahmetovic - left the party last year and established a new, independent political bloc and they were present last night with Konakovic.

With his mostly moderate views, Konakovic - a former basketball player and sports official - was not a typical SDA functionary, and was not overly influential in the party's broad and mostly conservative infrastructure.

Mladen Lakic