ZAGREB, June 30, 2018 – The President of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Marinko Čavara (HDZ BiH) said in an interview with the Radiosarajevo news portal that he would not sign a law on constituencies in the Federation entity that was adopted by Bosniak parties last week contrary to the will of Croats, and insisted that the law was contrary to a Constitutional Court ruling ordering that the way members of the House of Peoples of the Federation entity are elected should be changed.
“Regardless of all the effort and talks between all parties to try and resolve this issue, the House of Representatives of the Federation Parliament has passed a bill that is in contravention of the Constitutional Court ruling. Naturally, considering this, I cannot be expected to sign the law as it is,” Čavara said.
Croat lawmakers in the Federation House of Peoples, which is the entity parliament’s upper house, have already announced that they will vote against the law and if it passes that procedure, Čavara will not sign it, which means that it cannot enter into force.
The Constitutional Court has contested provisions of the state election law regarding elections to the House of Peoples, whose members are equally distributed among the country’s three constituent ethnic groups, and in the meantime Bosniak parties decided to adopt a separate law at the entity level which Croat parties claim is contrary to the country’s constitution and the Constitutional Court ruling.
The law enables the election of representatives from all constituent ethnic groups from each canton, which the Constitutional Court previously removed from the election law because it made it possible for the more numerous Bosniaks to outvote the Croats and impose political representatives on them.
Čavara said that the largest Bosniak party, the Party of Democratic Action, had tricked the HDZ BiH by negotiating the adoption of the law exclusively with Bosniak parties and to the detriment of Croats. “This mode of work undermines democratic order and is an attempt to implement projects that aim to prevent Croats from electing their legitimate representatives,” Čavara said.