Croat Democratic Party (HDZ BiH) Leader Dragan Covic said at a press conference that local parties cannot agree on the solution for the local election in Mostar and that the local election will almost definitely not be held in this city. The Draft Law on Constituencies proposed by Sarajevo based parties is also unacceptable for Covic.
“Unfortunately, our package was the House of Peoples, the Presidency and the City of Mostar, these were the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since we didn’t agree on anything, I’m afraid we can openly say there will be no election in Mostar, this year. We will have to wait for the next local election,” Covic told the media representatives.
In 2010, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina issued a decision ordering that Bosnia's Election Law and the Mostar City Statute must be amended, because the Statute violates the basic democratic principle of 'one man – one vote.'
Covic, who is also a member of Bosnia's tripartite presidency will meet with members of the US Congress on Tuesday. He noted that some things can never change, such as the HDZ BiH’s attitude towards legitimate representation in institutions at the state and entity levels.
Bosnia and Herzegovina's Constitution explicitly mentions three ethnic groups i.e. constituent peoples, THe Bosniaks, Serbs and the Croats, who are entitled to the same equal rights in governing the state.
“I’ve personally been to every corner of the country and I’m afraid our room for action and changes of Bosnia’s Election Law has significantly decreased. If you look at the media and the messages they’re sending – the message is quite clear and I will convey this message to the gentlemen from the US Congress,” he said
The Bosniak Caucus in Bosnia’s House of Peoples has submitted the request for the maintenance of an extraordinary session whose agenda item would be the Draft Law on Constituencies and the Number of Mandates in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) entity Parliament. During the Draft Law’s adoption in the FBiH House of Representatives, the HDZ BiH and the Croat People’s Assembly (HNS) MPs did not attend the session.
“The fact that Bosniak parties have jointly initiated an activity which is contrary to Constitutional Court’s decision sends a very bad message. We will ensure the legitimate representation of all three peoples through respect of the Constitution and the law, and thus avoid a crisis after the October election,” Covic stressed. “We will provide a full contribution, but we will also not be naive and fall into a trap to break the Constitution or the Constitutional Court’s decision in any way.”
Bosnian politicians and lawmakers have been struggling for two years now to amend the Election Law in a way that would implement the Constitutional Court's decision, which two years ago assessed as unconstitutional certain provisions of the law that refer to equal and proportional representation in the FBiH Parliament.
After a series of unsuccessful political talks, four parties seated in Sarajevo recently proposed the Federation's Law on Constituencies, which they believed would solve the issue of representation in the entity parliament. The Croat parties rejected to attend the parliament's session discussing the law, saying that the proposal “harshly ignored the Constitutional Court's decision.”