Venice Commission's experts with Bosnian leaders in June

Publication date: 
May 24 2018

The Venice Commission representatives would hold meetings with leaders of Bosnia's political parties the next month to discuss the changes to electoral legislation, participants of the meeting held at premises of the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina concluded on Thursday.

The Venice Commission's delegation arrived this week to assist Bosnia's politicians and authorities in finding an agreement on the burning issue of the changes Bosnia has to make to the Election Law, in order to align it with the country's Constitution.

Two years ago the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina ruled that some provisions of the Election Law were inconsistent with the state Constitution and subsequently deleted two sections of the Law which treat the matter of representation in the House of Peoples of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), the semi-autonomous entity shared by Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats.

Since then, Bosnia's political leaders have failed to act in the legally allowed time frame to change the Law. Talks on the issue have been in deadlock for some time, despite mediation by international representatives present in the country.

Over the past three days, the Venice Commission's representatives held meetings with representatives of political parties and the Central Election Commission, focusing on the issue of filling the seats in the FBiH House of Peoples.

According to Vice President of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) Sefik Dzaferovic, who took part in the Thursday morning meeting, the number of disputable issues has narrowed down to the problem of House of Peoples and this matter should be solved at the level of political parties' leaders and the Venice Commission's experts.

“It would be normal if the Election Law was amended before the election process, but a possibility of doing that after the election process opens is not ruled out in Bosnia,” said Dzaferovic.

Social democrat Zoran Mikulic, on the other hand, said the reaching of the solution was on the parliamentarians. According to him, the problem solution lies in an entity law at the FBiH level.

Democratic Front (DF) representative Damir Becirovic confirmed it was said during the meeting that the problem could be solved at the entity level. He stressed, however, that no change should be passed contrary to the FBiH Constitution.

Lidija Bradara of the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ BiH) assessed the meetings as useful.

The Venice Commission's experts are set to meet on Thursday with representatives of the Constitutional Court and the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

N1 Sarajevo