The Position of the Plenum: The Sarajevo Cantonal Assembly must pay serious attention to the citizens’ problems

logo of the sarajevo citizens' plenum

This first appeared on 25 February at:

Sarajevo Citizens’ Plenum
Press Release

On the 25th of February 2014, the Sarajevo Citizens’ Plenum voted on the conclusions [adopted] by the Sarajevo Canton Assembly during the session held on 24 February 2014, regarding the Plenum’s demands.

The Sarajevo Citizens’ Plenum welcomes the positive attitude, in principle, expressed by the Sarajevo Assembly representatives, on the submitted demands of the  Plenum.

However, the Plenum notes that only minimal progress has been made towards the adoption of our demands. The Plenum emphasizes that this will not stop our struggle for social justice and dignified life, for every one of us.
It is unacceptable that the Sarajevo Assembly is only now, under pressure from citizens, beginning to work on issues for which it exists to resolve – [such as] taking steps towards solving the multitude of economic and social problems, which the citizens of Sarajevo Canton have lived with every day, for years.

It is also unacceptable, that in its early engagement [with the Plenum] the Assembly has shown a limited understanding about the essence and urgency of the citizens’ problems, and uses formalities as an excuse for taking insufficiently decisive and effective actions in our common interest.

The Assembly’s call to the caucuses to submit their proposals, within seven days, for candidates for the future Cantonal Prime Minister, de facto demonstrates the ineptness of our political representatives. [It also] confirms that, instead of protecting the interests of people who elected them, they have been using their mandates to serve their own interests and the needs of political parties to which they belong.

Because of exactly this, the Plenum insists that the Sarajevo Cantonal Assembly turns over responsibility for the Cantonal Government to professionals with relevant backgrounds, who through their work and achievements have proven themselves to be professional and successful individuals with moral integrity.

The Plenum also insists that the composition of the Government be determined through an open process, to enable the public to view the biographies of the proposed candidates. The selection must be based exclusively on the professional capacity and knowledge of the candidates. The influence of political parties during the selection of candidates must be eliminated.

The Plenum insists that the legal deadline of 60 days for creating a new cabinet be shortened, and the seven days deadline for the nomination of a Prime Ministerial candidate be respected.

While we appreciate the limitations presented by the circumstances, the Plenum demands that the Government of the Canton of Sarajevo accepts the full responsibility and willingness to do everything within its power, including emergency measures, to prevent  the plunder of public goods and to eliminate corruption, so as to enable a harmonized development of society and the economy. Only then we can consider that this demand of the Plenum has been adopted and realized.

The Plenum insists on conducting audits of salaries and benefits of those holding public functions in the executive and legislative branches, of both elected and nominated officials, and also those who work in the institutions of the Canton or in public companies.

The Plenum finds the following demands unacceptable: calls for “ministers and representatives in Canton Sarajevo to give up their benefits” or for the “representatives and elected officials who work in the structures of public management to resign”. [The Plenum] insists that those rights and responsibilities be solved through legal channels. Steps towards improving our lives must not be a matter of good will of individuals or of moral norms, but must be the responsibility of the system.

The Plenum demands that the Sarajevo Cantonal Assembly takes our demand for an audit of the privatization process very seriously, and quickly prepares a proposal for measures to be taken.

The Plenum wishes to remind all judicial institutions of the legislative obligation for independence, professionalism and responsibility, and it demands a professional and complete report about the events on the 7th of February 2014. We demand all information which is available to the Assembly be submitted for a review.

Even though the response by the Cantonal Assembly is not satisfactory, it still represents an important success for all those in the plenums and on the streets, as well as for society as a whole.

The Plenum supports the continuation of peaceful protests and the activities of other citizens’ plenums.

For a society based on solidarity and social justice.

Sarajevo Citizens’ Plenum
Sarajevo 25. February 2014

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