Scores of citizens are gathering for a protest in front of the Office of the High Representative (OHR) in Sarajevo, demanding that Bosnia’s international administrator Christian Schmidt refrains from imposing a set of changes to the Election Law.
N1 learned from several diplomatic sources last week that, by August 1, Schmidt will use his ‘Bonn Powers’ to impose measures for the re-functioning of Bosnia’s Federation (FBiH) entity.
The draft decision, which has already been sent to the addresses of embassies in BiH, contains changes to the Election Law in relation to the functioning of the chambers of Parliament, the election of the leadership of the FBiH, the election of judges of the FBiH Constitutional Court, as well as numerous changes that should ensure the integrity of the election process.
Sarajevo-based political parties, including the Party of Democratic Action (SDA), the Democratic Front (DF), the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the People and Justice party (NiP) and others, called on citizens to express their disagreement with Schmidt’s plan in front of the OHR building at 7 p.m.
N1 cameras recorded a strong police presence and officers setting up a protective fence in front of the OHR. Traffic has been stopped in the area.
Sead Karic was the first to arrive at the protest. He told N1 that he fears that Bosniaks could “end up in the ghetto” if Schmidt decides to impose the reforms.
Citizens from other areas in the country are also arriving via buses.
SDA leader, Bakir Izetbegovic, BiH Presidency member, Sefik Dzaferovic, the SDP’s candidate for the upcoming presidential election, Denis Becirovic, as well as many other politicians have already arrived at the protest.