The OSCE, US Embassy, EU and Bosnia’s international administrator welcomed on Wednesday a European Court of Human Rights ruling in favour of Irma Baralija who sued Bosnia because no elections were held in her hometown of Mostar since 2008.
In 2010, 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.
The southern city remains divided among two main ethnic parties – the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Bosniak Party for Democratic Action (SDA) – which never managed to reach an agreement on how to solve the problem.
“We welcome yesterday’s judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Baralija vs Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The judgment is yet another reminder that the absence of elections since 2008 discriminates against the residents of Mostar and is incompatible with effective democracy and the rule of law,” the statement said.
The OSCE, EU, US Embassy and Office of the High Representative (OHR) also called upon Bosnia’s Parlament and politicians to implement the ruling “as a matter of priority and independently of other issues by finding a political agreement to amend the BiH Election Law,” adding that “electoral matters are best discussed through inclusive and transparent debates in the parliament with the participation of all political forces.”
“The implementation of the judgement would enable the citizens to exercise their democratic right to vote at the 2020 municipal elections in – what must continue to be – a unified city of Mostar,” the statement concluded.