The 1991 census is the only one that can be used to properly implement the October election results, the head of the Statistics Agency of the Federation (FBiH), one of Bosnia’s two semi-autonomous regions, said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Emir Kremic, said that the institution forwarded its expert opinion on the interpretation of the data regarding the Bosnian census to the Central Election Commission (CIK).
The 1991 census is “qualified and suitable for the 2018 election process in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as was the case in previous elections from 1996 to 2018,” the Agency of the mostly Bosniak and Bosnian Croat populated entity said in the document.
The expert interpretation by the Agency is binding for all institutions, including the CIK, Kremic said.
The opinion is binding for the Central Election Commission since November 19, 2018, “when it received the binding expert opinion which can only be audited by the Office of the High Representative (OHR) for Bosnia and Herzegovina or the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he said.
The Central Election Commission is still discussing whether the 2013 census or the one from 1991 will be applied when it is to distribute seats in the FBiH House of Peoples, which consists of prescribed numbers of Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats.
Which census will be applied is essential because the wartime ethnic cleansing changed the population structure in the country significantly.
The peace agreement that ended the war in 1995 said in a separate annexe that everybody has to be able to return home.
Only after that provision is implemented can the new census be applied, Kremic said. The refugee return annexe, however, has never been declared as implemented, neither by Bosnia’s top international administrator nor by the country’s parliament.