Bosnia has a six-month deadline to find a solution to the arrangement of elections in Mostar otherwise the Constitutional Court has the right to impose a temporary solution, said Irma Baralija, the applicant who won the case against Bosnia and Herzegovina concerning the change of electoral legislation and elections in the City of Mostar. This is the message that justice does exist, she said.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on Tuesday in favour of Baralija, stating that a “legal void had been created by the authorities’ failure to enforce a 2010 Constitutional Court ruling concerning arrangements for voting in local elections in Mostar and telling the authorities to harmonise the relevant legislation with the Constitution.”
But this is not the most important part of the story, according to this politician who lives and works in the southern city of Mostar.
“Something that we did not expect happened. And that is that the court decided and gave a six-month deadline for an agreement on Mostar to be reached,” she said adding that the Constitutional Court has the right to impose a temporary solution if this deadline is not met.
“This is a message to all of us that justice does exist,” said Baralija addressing a press conference in Sarajevo on Tuesday.
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 to find an agreement on how the problem should be solved.
“What did SDA, HDZ and all other parties that were in power do, the parties that had their representatives in the Parliament. I want the door of this assembly to open, to convene a session in Mostar and get into a ring. Let's put our proposals on the table and have a live broadcast of that, and let's see whose proposal is the best,” said Baralija.