Bosnian Croats Warn about Election Law Discrimination

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, February 26, 2018 – Discrimination against members of the ethnic minorities and constituent peoples in elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a typical example of violation of basic human rights and this situation must be changed by adjusting election legislation, the chairman of the country’s presidency and the leader of Bosnian Croats, Dragan Čović, said at a UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva on Monday.

Čović said that the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina were trying to remove any discrimination and human rights violations as a prerequisite to post-war reconciliation and internal stability.

Noting that the principle of non-discrimination was incorporated in the Bosnia and Herzegovina Constitution and that the country had adopted a comprehensive law to prevent all forms of discrimination, Čović stressed the need to amend election legislation so that these provisions could be implemented.

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s election law is discriminatory against the minority communities because it prevents their members from running in elections and being elected to positions in the presidency and the upper house of parliament which are reserved for members of the constituent peoples. At the same time, unconstitutional provisions of the election law affect the symmetry in rights between the constituent peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina by putting them in an unequal position in terms of the possibility of choosing their political representatives, which limits and threatens their equality in participation and co-decision making in the state institutions, Čović said.

Although the issue of election legislation and its constitutionality is an internal matter, Čović said that it should be examined and understood from the point of view of human rights in order to promote the rule of law and key democratic processes and create the necessary environment to protect human rights and prevent their violation.

Čović said that Bosnia and Herzegovina was ready to make its contribution to combating radicalism and extremism. He warned that the country had found itself at the centre of the migrant crisis, which he said was a challenge it had to deal with in cooperation with other countries.

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