High representative gives Bosnia leaders ultimatum to change election law

By Azem Kurtic, 1 August
High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, German diplomat Christian Schmidt (photo credit: PA-EFE/  Fehim Demir)
High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, German diplomat Christian Schmidt (photo credit: PA-EFE/ Fehim Demir)
Amid three days of protests in Sarajevo supported by the main Bosniak parties, the international envoy to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Christian Schmidt [...] partially imposed changes to the election law in time for the October elections despite protests mostly by Bosniak parties. Schmidt said he will give politicians in the Federation entity a new timeline to find their own solution but will impose significant changes to the election law, if they fail to reach an agreement. [...] For almost two years, political leaders in Bosnia have tried to agree on changes to the election law and to the Constitution of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the larger of the two entities in the country, but all the attempts have failed. The latest attempt happened in January with the moderation of the international community in Bosnia’s coastal town of Neum, when political leaders again refused possible changes. Less than four months before the general elections, the OHR, the international office overseeing Bosnia’s post-war peace settlement, intended to introduce changes using its executive powers. The draft decision listed changes to the law in relation to the functioning of the houses of parliament, the election of the leadership of the Federation entity, the election of judges to the Federation entity’s Constitutional Court as well as changes to ensure the integrity of the election process. One change would mean that if the numbers of members of Bosnia’s constituent nations – Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs – in any Federation entity canton are less than 3 per cent, they will no longer have representatives in the House of Peoples of the Federation parliament.
Read the full article here: Balkan Insight

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