The following are details of the changes to the BiH Electoral Law that the international community's High Representative intends to impose concerning the integrity of the electoral process in the country. The decision will be imposed on Wednesday at 4:30 pm.
The High Representative's decision includes a fine of up to 30,000 Bosnian marks (some €15,000), giving the right to the Central Election Commission to remove a person who is personally responsible for various violations from the candidate list, the possibility to exclude a party or parties or coalitions, as well as an independent candidate or candidates for violating the Election Law of BiH.
Among other things, High Representative Christian Schmidt amends the part of the Law referring to the appointment of members of the Municipal Election Commission.
“In the event that the appointment of the new or of the replacing member of the Municipal Election Commission has not been made within the period prescribed by Law, the Central Election Commission of BiH shall be allowed to make their appointment,” the decision states.
A new paragraph will be added to the BiH Election Law which read:
“The abuse of the right to participate in the work of the Polling Station Committee by fictitious representation as prescribed by Article 7.3, paragraph (2) of this Law shall be prohibited.”
According to the amendments to the Law, the holder of electoral duties is not allowed to misuse public resources, including:
a) involvement of the civil servants who are subordinate to a candidate in the performance of work during the working hours in order to promote the candidate or political entities;
b) use of premises occupied by public institutions and authorities for pre-election campaigning activities where the use of the same premises is not guaranteed to other candidates and political entities under the same terms and conditions;
c) use of means of communication, information services, office equipment of public institutions and authorities for election campaigning;
d) use of a means of transportation owned by state, entity, city, cantonal or municipal authorities and organizations free of charge or at reduced charges for campaigning activities. This provision shall not be applicable to transport of individuals who under a regime of special protection defined by law which is provided as part of security measures applicable in respect of high-ranking officials subject to official protection provided by competent authorities during the course of performance of their official duties or when acting in line of their official duty.
e) collection of signatures or election campaigning carried out by persons who hold elected offices or are civil servants, during the official activities or events organized by a public institution or authority.
Also, the High Representative’s decision amends the article prohibiting false impersonation on behalf of any political party, coalition, list of independent candidates or independent candidate by prohibiting such actions “as well as the abuse of the legal right to participate in the work of a Polling Station Committee on behalf of one political entity contrary to the provision of Article 2.19 of this Law by fictitiously representing a political entity entitled to a seat at the Polling Station Committee, in order to favour another political entity not entitled to the seat at the Polling Station Committee. This prohibition shall also be applicable to members of a Polling Station Committee.”
This Law shall enter into force on the eighth day after its publication on the official website of the Office of the High Representative or the day following its publication in the “Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina”, whichever comes first, the decision states.