EU observers oppose High Rep's decision saying it undermines democracy

NEWS 03.10.2022 16:01
Source: N1

The High Representative Christian Schmidt's imposition of the decision regarding the Election Law in BiH was not supported by the observers of the European Parliament staying in BiH as part of the OSCE observation mission during the 2022 General Elections. 

Andreas Schieder, from the Social Democratic Party of Austria, said that this undermines democratic principles. 

“The High Representative used his powers to pass laws, and many interlocutors think that these laws were not passed on time, that they are insufficient. On the day of the election, the High Representative made major changes to the Federation (FBiH) entity legislation concerning the House of Peoples,” said Schieder.

He added that it was unexpected and that it was seen as changes during the election process. 

 “We do not support this, as it undermines the democratic capacities of BiH and the will of citizens who want to use their democratic right. When people went to their polling stations, they did so in order to live in a functioning state,” said the observer. 

The EP delegation consisted of 6 members from five parties and six countries and was part of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODHIR) observation mission. 

The Mission said that they will evaluate the High Representative’s decision, which will be published in the report. They underlined that it is early to make recommendations in this regard. 

High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina Christian Schmidt imposed changes to the Election Law on Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the changes to the Constitution of the Bosniak-Croat, shared Federation entity, officially called the ‘Measures to improve the Federation Functionality. 

The decision was passed on the day when Bosnia held general elections. 

Immediately after the decision was announced the EU Delegation to BiH distanced itself from the decision of the High Representative, stating that it is solely his decision”. The Member of the EP, Thomas Waitz, said that this decision is “a slap in the face to the voters”. 

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