Bundestag Rapporteur urges High Rep to refrain from imposing BiH election reform

NEWS 22.07.2022 22:18
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Source: Adis Ahmetović (N1)

The Rapporteur for the Western Balkans in Germany’s Bundestag, Adis Ahmetovic, urged the High Representative of the international community in Bosnia to refrain from imposing changes to the BiH election law only months ahead of the October 2 election in the country.

N1 learned from several diplomatic sources on Wednesday that by August 1, High Representative in BiH, German politician Christian 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.

Ahmetovic, a German MP whose parents are from Bosnia and Herzegovina, commented on Schmidt’s plan in an Instagram post.

“I am convinced of the power of democracy, of the power of the EU and of the power of (social) justice. That is why I am doing my utmost, dear friends, to ensure that nothing happens that would further deepen the ethnic divisions in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Ahmetovic wrote.

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He noted that, with their adoption of a resolution on BiH, Bundestag members recently “voted in favour of a democratic and European Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

“We will not leave the country alone in the current situation. Germany is aware of its responsibility. I, therefore, call on the High Representative to distance himself from the plan to use the “Bonn Powers” at this point in time, so shortly before the election,” he wrote.

Ahmetovic did not comment on the content of the packages of measures Schmidt plans to impose, but argued that “such profound planned changes should be worked out with the democratically legitimate institutions and the pro-European forces.”

“All German think tanks, the majority of political scientists and many international experts advise against some of the changes discussed. I ask the USA, Great Britain and also the OHR to listen to these voices and to let them influence the decisions. Now is this historic moment to show strength and pave the way for a better Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Ahmetovic wrote.

“Let's not make deals about people's fates behind closed doors. What is happening in BiH, we would never (!) allow in our country – now speaking from the perspective of a German member of parliament. We must apply this standard when it comes to the fate of others,” he wrote.

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