HNS Bosnia and Herzegovina Calls on High Rep to Impose Election Law Changes, Prevent Break-Up

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We call on the international administration in Bosnia and Herzegovina not to give in to pressures and to persevere in seeking solutions that will fully stabilise Bosnia and Herzegovina as a country of three constituent peoples and all its citizens, on Bosnia and Herzegovinas Euro-Atlantic journey, and in building a country which young people won’t leave, the group of Croat parties in the Federation parliament’s House of Peoples said in a statement on Saturday.

It was reported earlier this week that the international community’s High Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Christian Schmidt, plans to amend the electoral law and introduce a three-percent census to prevent the abuse of the election of delegates to the Federation parliament’s upper house.

Since then, the pro-Bosniak parties and the public have been strongly campaigning against Schmidt. The SDP Bosnia and Herzegovina today called his move racist, while Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency member Željko Komšić said it had anti-Islamic motives.

Introducing a three-percent threshold would prevent Bosniaks in some of the Federation’s ten cantons who declared themselves as Croats from being elected to the Croat group in the upper house anymore. The group is key to the election of the executive authority in the Croat-Bosniak entity.

For the October general elections, Bosniak parties have announced the election of a number of Croat delegates in order to oust from the government the leading Croat parties for which most Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina vote.

The HNS Bosnia and Herzegovina parliamentary group, which gathers Croat political parties, dismissed the pressures and campaign against Schmidt, saying that all Bosniak parties have revealed their Bosniak nationalism.

According to the Croat parties, the Bosniaks’ attempt to take over control in the Federation would lead to the cancellation of the Washington and Dayton agreements, which they say might cause a new crisis and Bosnia and Herzegovina’s break-up.

They say that Schmidt is trying to impose a solution that the Bosniak parties obstructed during talks on electoral reform with the mediation of the US and the EU earlier this year.

“The Bosniak side, on the other hand, advocates a status quo with the goal of transforming the Federation into a Bosniak statelet and the Croats into a political minority,” the statement said.

The constituency of the peoples, as stipulated by the Constitution, and legitimate political representation, as established by the Constitutional Court in the Ljubić ruling, must be achieved in the election process, it added.


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