The parliament of Bosnia’s Serb-majority part does not have the competencies to reject a set of powers the international community granted to its representative in Bosnia, the Office of the High Representative (OHR) told N1 on Wednesday.
Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik said a day before that the National Assembly of Republika Srpska (RS, one of the two semi-autonomous entities within the country) would discuss whether to reject the ‘Bonn powers’ and declare them illegal at its next extraordinary session.
The Bonn powers allow the High Representative - the international official overseeing the civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement which ended the war - to impose laws and fire officials, among other things.
“The status and the competencies of the High Representative are issues which stem from the General Framework Agreement for Peace and international law and, thus, are not within the competencies of the entities,” the Office of the High Representative (OHR) said.
The OHR argued that Republika Srpska does not have the right to unilaterally withdraw from reforms which were implemented within the framework of Annexe IV of the Dayton Agreement, which is Bosnia’s Constitution, nor to interpret Annexe X of the agreement which treats the mandate of the High Representative.
“We also want to point out that the Bonn powers have not been used for eight years but that the frequent attacks on the General Framework Agreement for Peace justify the further existence of those powers,” the OHR statement said.
“Political parties, including those in the RS, had enough chances to show that they can agree on reforms, including those which are needed for Bosnia and Herzegovina to leave its international supervision on the path toward European Union membership,” it added.
The institution reminded that the reforms which brought the Bonn powers were supported by the Peace Implementation Council (PIC), an international body charged with implementing Dayton Agreement and consisting of representatives of 55 countries and agencies.
“Any reversal of the reforms would impede the economic and political stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina and jeopardise the ability of the country to meet its international obligations,” the statement concluded.