The most important thing in Bosnia and Herzegovina is to preserve peace and that elections 2022 are conducted in a peaceful atmosphere, noting that the election law can be reformed afterwards, Head of the Jewish community in Bih Jakob Finci, Grand Mufti Husein Kavazovic, Archbishop Coadjutor of Vrhbosna Tom Vuksic agreed on Tuesday after meeting the US Department of State Counselor Derek Chollet and the rest of the US delegation in the country.
“If we could have had the previous three elections according to present rules of the game, why can't we have one more? And then in time to start discussing the changes because don’t forget – we only have time until May 2022. That’s five months because there are holidays going on in both constituent peoples. There is not much time to work. So it’s better to survive these elections by these rules. We know that there are contradictions with the Convention on Human Rights, but they were there in previous years, so no one objected. There is no need for this either. Colleague Dervo Sejdic and I have been waiting for 12 years for the implementation of that [verdict], we can for another 2-3 years. But let's do it in peace, and not in a panic, digging up hidden weapons or preparing for, God forbid, what we have experienced once already,” said Finci.
Dervo Sejdic, a Roma and Jakob Finci, a Jew, have sued Bosnia because the Constitution does not allow them to run for president or member of the upper house of the parliament.
That is because according to the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, the country’s presidency consists of representatives of Bosnia’s three constituent peoples – the Bosniaks, the Serbs and the Croats. Its House of Peoples is also filled with members of only those groups.
That violates the rights of the country’s minorities and in 2009 the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ordered the country to remove this discrimination from its constitution.
Since then, nothing has been done to implement the ruling, which not only concerns minorities but also members of constitutive peoples who live in areas of the country dominated by one of the other two constituent peoples.
Certain agendas can threaten peace in Bosnia
“When we have peace and we know that no one will disturb that peace, then it is necessary to open a dialogue between our [political] leaders to discuss the interests of this country and the people living in this region. That is what the archbishop, Finci and I said, that is the message we sent,” said Grand Mufti Kavazovic.
He expressed fear that peace is being threatened and warned that all those who contribute to that with their actions and words will be held responsible.
“People are either unaware of it or have agendas that could jeopardize what I'm talking about. I think we are on that path. We have to stop that. BiH has many friends, of course, it has enemies like any other country. But there is enough strength within it to preserve peace and we have enough friends who will help BiH do just that,” Kavazovic said.