SARAJEVO, March 9 (FENA) – Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of the BiH Parliamentary Assembly Denis Zvizdić today expressed dissatisfaction with the ignorant attitude of the BiH Council of Ministers over the initiative of the BiH Parliament regarding the procurement of vaccines against COVID-19.
In a statement for FENA, Zvizdić reminds that exactly two months have passed since he launched an initiative that was unanimously adopted at the House of Representatives of the BiH PA, in which he presented to the BiH Council of Ministers the importance, urgency, action plan and timetable for procurement of vaccines against COVID-19.
“I am disappointed with the fact that the Council of Ministers of BiH showed an ignorant attitude towards the initiative of the Parliament of BiH, that it did not initiate any activity, although unfortunately, the predictions from the explanation of the initiative turned out to be correct. Back in December last year, I announced that the COVAX mechanism, neither quantitatively nor in terms of time, would not give the expected results, which today, unlike the then expressed disagreement with such a prediction, no one questions. That is why I proposed that the Council of Ministers, following the example of other governments in the region, enter the process of bilateral negotiations with friendly countries that are ready to provide Bosnia and Herzegovina with some of their vaccines,” he said.
He further reminds that then the Council of Ministers of BiH categorically rejected it with the explanation that it is not possible to realize it, and today we are witnessing that, after two months of lost time, bilateral activities are announced, while at the same time we receive symbolic quantities from Serbia and Slovenia through bilateral relations.
Furthermore, he notes that at that time he proposed direct negotiations between the state and vaccine manufacturers, which is the competence of BiH, and which was disputed without any valid argument. Today we have a situation where the Council of Ministers of BiH, i.e. the state of BiH, adopts “amendments” to contracts with producers on indemnification, and it was necessary, by the same analogy, to conclude contracts on the procurement of vaccines beforehand. If the process had started in time, he claims, they would certainly have had at least 200-300,000 doses of vaccines by today.
“To conclude, if the initiative had been implemented when it was adopted, two months ago, all medical workers, police officers, chronically ill would have already been vaccinated today in BiH and we would have a significantly lower number of infected and dead in BiH. Thus, the citizens of BiH are still exposed to severe trauma and the state is institutionally humiliated because we are the last in Europe to procure vaccines. I would like to be wrong, but it seems to me that the current situation can only be explained by the intention of certain policies to present BiH as insufficiently functional and to achieve supremacy of entities and cantons, which separately, without the leadership of the state of BiH, began procurement vaccine. Or maybe it is someone’s intention to start introducing “covid passes” within BiH?! So, it is time for the BiH Council of Ministers to start implementing the initiatives of the House of Representatives, because some of them are literally saving lives,” Zvizdić said for FENA.