Bosnia & Herzegovina’s first ever Eurovision participant, Fazla, has said he is trying to push for the country’s return to the Contest for 2024.
Political problems for Fazla
Speaking on The EuroTrip Podcast, Fazla – whose full name is Muhamed Fazlagić – said that internal politics were partly to blame for Bosnia’s absence. On the podcast, he said:
The problem we have right now in our government at a national level [is that] we have two political parties, Croatian Democratic Union and Serbian National Social Democrats, who are refusing to finance anything that carries the name of Bosnia & Herzegovina.
They are two secessionist parties and unfortunately for the last four years we have not been able to raise the funds through the regular means, through national television, to go and compete.Muhamed Fazlagić, Eurovision 1993 participant
Politically, Bosnia & Herzegovina is a tripartite state. As a result, all decisions require unanimous agreement from Bosniak, Croatian and Serbian groups. In addition to this, Bosnia & Herzegovina have been unable to participate since 2016 due to outstanding debts to the EBU.
Fazlagić points out that due to this approach, funds for BHRT, the national broadcaster, are unable to be raised. He suggests that as a result of Croatian and Serbs refusing to help fundraise BHRT, Bosnia & Herzegovina have been unable to take part. It has also been thought that if the debts are unable to be paid, a Bosnian return would become almost impossible.
What is being done to help clear the debt
Fazla had a difficult road to his Eurovision participation in 1993. After winning the national selection, Fazlagić and his team had to run across open fields, avoiding snipers to reach the airport. Despite finishing in 16th place, Fazlagić has stayed involved in Bosnian music and society.
Since taking part in Eurovision, Fazla has entered the political sphere himself. Currently, he works as a senior advisor to the Ministry of Defence for the Croat-backed Democratic Front–Civic Alliance. Following elections in October, Fazla’s party currently holds the Croatian part of the Presidency, with a government looking to be formed. Adding to his comments, he said that Eurovision is the best way for the country to promote itself. He said:
If you’re not there in the perception of the regular people, you don’t exist. So we want to show again that we do exist.
If [we are] not [there in] 2023, 2024 for sure if we become part of the national government.
If my party became part of that national government, that is one of the issues I’m going to be strongly working on: making sure Bosnia is back part of Eurovision.Muhamed Fazlagić, Eurovision 1993 participant
Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Eurovision journey
The state of Bosnia and Herzegovina was a mini-powerhouse in the Eurovision Song Contest in the time that they took part. Bosnia and Herzegovina debuted in Eurovision in 1993 with Fazla, singing the song ‘Sva bol svijeta’. The song placed 16th, scoring 27 points. Bosnia qualified for the final every single time bar once; their best result coming in 2006 with ‘Leija’ sung by Hari Mata Hari, which came third scoring 229 points in the Grand Final.
Bosnia and Herzegovina last participated in the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2016 with Dalal and Deen featuring Ana Rucner and Jala. Singing the song ‘Ljubav Je’, unfortunately they failed to qualify – placing 11th in the Semi Final with 104 points. This marked the first time that Bosnia & Herzegovina was not in a final in its participation.
What do you make of the comments from Fazla? Do you think BHRT could pay off its debts and return in time for 2024? Who would you like to see represent Bosnia & Herzegovina next? As always, let us know what you think by commenting below. Also, be sure to follow “That Eurovision Site” on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok as we aim for Eurovision 2023!
News Source: The EuroTrip Podcast
Photo Credit: Oslobodjenje.ba