EU Leaders Call for Changes to Election Law in Bosnia

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ZAGREB, May 2, 2018 – In a joint statement on Wednesday, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for European Neighbourhood and Enlargement Policy Johannes Hahn called on political leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina to amend the country’s election law in accordance with a ruling by the country’s Constitutional Court, and warned that forming a new government in autumn could be jeopardised if that was not done.

Probably the last round of talks between leading Croat and Bosniak political parties has been scheduled, with the mediation of the US and European administrations, before the Central Electoral Commission (SIP) next week delivers its decision to call a general election.

Mogherini and Hahn assessed that during the series of talks presided by the EU and US ambassadors to Bosnia, a framework to find a possible solution has been created.

We expect leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina to reach a compromise without delay in the best interest of their country. If the results of the general election cannot be implemented, the formation of a new government could be at risk, Mogherini and Hahn said in a joint statement.

They noted that in a recent report the Commission called on the political leaders in the country to reach an agreement on the indirect election to the House of Peoples in the Federation entity, and underscored that the election law has to be changed in accordance with a ruling by the Constitutional Court.

Mogherini and Hahn added that the Central Electoral Commission will call a general election for October and expressed hope that the institution will implement its mandate in an independent and professional manner. The holding of elections and the implementation of their results, including the proper functioning of institutions, is a fundamental democratic requirement for any country aspiring to join the European Union. Holding the future election results hostage to party interests is not an option, they said.

In response to a complaint by Croat parties, the Constitutional Court in Bosnia and Herzegovina has abolished provisions of the election law regarding the election of deputies to the House of Peoples in the Federation entity, which means that a new executive authority cannot be formed in that entity, as well as to the state parliament’s House of Peoples.

Croat parties are calling for the Court’s decision to be implemented in order to ensure the legitimacy of those elected, while Bosniak parties insist on reducing the powers of the House of People, which is a key institution for ensuring the equal rights of Croats.


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