War crimes and a war of words

Branimir Glavaš, a right wing politician and former general, has been sentenced to ten years in jail for committing war crimes against Serbian civilians in 1991 in his home town Osijek. As a member of parliament, Glavaš still enjoys parliamentary immunity, so he could not be arrested and brought to jail. It is expected that the Croatian parliament will lift Glavaš immunity today, but the convict decided not to wait for that moment. He fled to Bosnia, his second homeland of which he is a national too.
The sentencing of Glavaš (image source) came a week before the local elections. Glavaš enjoys some measure of popularity and the ruling HDZ party is afraid that his sympathizers will turn their anger about the conviction of their war hero against the HDZ. Prime minister Ivo Sanadar therefore said that the Supreme Court joined the election campaign. The president of the court reacted by saying that Sanader has crossed the line between politics and judiciary, a line he is not allowed to cross.
Branimir Glavaš has launched, from Bosnia, his own campaign against Sanadar. He called him a "monster that gave away everything we fought for". Glavaš's supporters in Bosnia burned HDZ flags. How popular the HDZ is in Bosnia, is quite relevant for politics in Croatia. Croats in Bosnia constitute a distinct electoral constituency, and they have voted massively for HDZ so far.
Glavaš's own party, the Croatian Democratic Assembly of Slavonia and Baranja (HDSSB) is strong in Osijek, but no national factor. HDSSB president Vladimir Šišljagić, a former officer in the Jugoslav National Army, announced a "war of exhaustion" against Ivo Sanadar. Another high ranking HDSSB mocked Sanader's business activities in Austria (from 1987 to 1991) while Croatia was at war: "I would recommend Sanader not to speak about war veterans, because he was filming porno movies in Austria while we were defending Croatia."
The political war is far from over. On 17 May, when local elections are being held, the first battle will take place.

0 reacties: