The elections were held on 18 November 1990. The SDA won 86 of the 240 seats in the Parliament of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while three of the seven-member Presidency members were SDA candidates. The clear winner among these three was Fikret Abdić, with 1.2 million votes; Izetbegović won 870,000 votes. Abdić was helped by the popularity he had gained as the founder of Agrokomerc and a victim of the 1986-1987 “promissory notes affair.” His image was of a successful businessman, unencumbered by national affiliation or nationalism, which was good reason to believe that he received some Serb and Croat votes as well. Despite this, political agreement was reached and Abdić conceded the post of chair of the Presidency to Alija Izetbegović.
Regrettably, the clash that was smouldering between these two politicians, with their different ideas, and also their different vanities and temperaments, was to culminate during the war that broke out in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992. Abdić returned to Velika Kladuša and raised his own army, which was to join forces with the Croatian Serb army, continuing to fight the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the last. As it turned out, Slobodan Milošević and Radovan Karadžić were able, thanks to Abdić, to achieve one of their strategic goals: a rift between different groups of Bosniacs. The inter-Bosniac conflict in the Krajina (the old Military Frontier region) was to exacerbate the misfortunes of the Bosniacs to unimaginable proportions.
Following the elections and the investiture of the members of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a government was formed from a coalition between the SDA, the SDS and the HDZ. The parties’ opposing interests, however, resulted in a dysfunctional government. Karadžić’s SDS wanted the country at all costs to remain part of rump Yugoslavia, without Croatia and Slovenia, which in any case were an obstacle to his visions of Greater Serbia. The HDZ, under the influence of Dr. Franjo Tuđman, was increasingly inclined towards the partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Despite this, Izetbegović worked with these parties in an attempt to achieve some kind of (multi-) national consensus, but without success; the clashes grew more and more bitter, the clamour of arms became ever louder, and the skies over Yugoslavia steadily darkened.
The permanent museum exhibition is located in the towers Kapi-kula Ploča and Širokac. In the Ploča tower, the life of Alija Izetbegović as statesman and politician is displayed on chronologically arranged exhibition boards, accompanied by text and photographs. In the Širokac tower, the exhibition is dedicated to Izetbegović's role as the Supreme Commander in the defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the Serbian agression.
Established in the recent times, the Museum „Alija Izetbegović“ offers modern answers to questions from the past, but also sets the foundation for the future. Through its objective scientific approach, it encourages young people, intellectuals and researchers to approach modern history with expertise and knowledge.
The Museum educational programs are designed for elementary and secondary school students. They include professional tours of the permanent museum exhibition, interactive school workshops, pedagogical and educational publications, lectures, special programmes observing important historical dates, etc.