The mayor of the southern city of Mostar called upon politicians on Sunday to continue a dialogue and find a way for a local election to take place in the city after 11 years.
The last local election in Mostar was held in 2008. Two years later, the Constitutional Court acted upon a motion by Croat representatives in the state Parliament, assessing parts of the state Election Law referring to Mostar as unconstitutional.
Mostar remains divided among two main parties right-wing parties - the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Bosniak Party for Democratic Action (SDA) - and the two never managed find an agreement on how the problem should be solved.
Not being able to form a local government for 11 years has “proven to be an obstacle to the development of the city,” according to Mayor Ljubo Beslic, a member of the HDZ.
“Last year a step forward was made in bringing political positions closer, and political parties in Mostar reached an agreement to deblock the process based on mutual agreement and on the implementation of the Constitutional Court ruling, the recommendations of the Venice Commission and the opinion of the European Commission about the request Bosnia and Herzegovina made to join the EU,” Beslic said.
He added that holding elections in Mostar is a political priority which “must be implemented in accordance with European standards and suggestions by international organisations which pointed out irregularities and anti-constitutional parts of the Election Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
“Political dialogue and implementation of all legal solutions are the only way to overcome the political deadlock. Implementing the basic human right to voting and being elected through local elections will enable a new wave of investments and constructive projects in the city, encourage development and considerably increase and improve conditions for our citizens,” he said.
Beslic said that his party is prepared to enter a dialogue and expects that “other political parties will express a wish to find a solution that suits all so we could finally overcome the years-long blockade."