New President of BiH Electoral Commission Selected, Says October Election Definite

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Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay

Arnautović succeeds Željko Bakalar and was selected with the support of six SIP members as part of the regular rotation for that position. SIP comprises two Croats, two Bosniaks, two Serbs and one member from an ethnic minority.

Leading Bosniak and Croat political parties have not yet agreed on amendments to the election law which should incorporate rulings by the European Court of Human Rights and BiH’s Constitutional Court, which have determined that the current law is discriminatory. Arnautović confirmed that SIP is preparing for the autumn elections because that is an obligation based on valid legislative provisions.

“We have been appointed to implement the election law…and it precisely regulates deadlines and one of our first obligations is to call elections this year,” Arnautović said.

The current election law in BiH foresees general elections on the first Sunday in October every four years.

SIP is obliged to call the elections no later than 150 days prior to their holding, which means that that has to be done by 4 May.

Croat political parties gathered around the Croatian National Council have not denied the possibility of boycotting the elections if an agreement on amendments to the election law is not reached. Although there is still time for that, any agreement reached would have to be supported in the parliament with relevant amendments to the law and the Constitution too.

SIP is also faced with another problem. The Council of Ministers has not yet adopted any decision regarding financing the election because the 2022 state budget has not yet been adopted.

Representatives of the international community in BiH, including the EU, USA and OSCE as well as the Office of the High Representative, strongly support the October elections and have called on the authorities to ensure the necessary funds while appealing to Croat parties to consider whether boycotting the elections would be worthwhile because in that case, they would lose any chance of participating in government.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.


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