German government: ‘Legitimate representation’ could deepen divisions in BiH

NEWS 06.05.2021 14:53
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Source: Pixabay

In order to end discrimination of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina not affiliating with one of the constituent peoples, it is crucial to implement through constitutional changes the European Court of Human Rights decision from 2009 in the 'Sejdic-Finci' case, says a document of German Foreign Affairs Ministry on electoral reform in BiH.

Democratization Policy Council published a copy of the document, claiming that this is an “important clarification by the German government” on the ongoing electoral law reform negotiations in BiH, mediated by the European Union and the United States.

“The German government is of the opinion that the principle of ‘legitimate representation’ discussed in the context of electoral reform could further deepen the division of BiH and complicate the implementation of relevant court rulings,” the document said.

The paper stressed that overcoming the ethnic divisions in the country should be a “guiding political aim” in addressing the Sejdic-Finci judgment – the ECHR ruling in the case treating the rights of Bosnian minorities in the election process which remains unimplemented for over a decade.

According to the Democratization Policy Council, a Berlin-based initiative promoting democratization policy worldwide, this document represents a “marked distancing of the German government from the 3rd Mostar agreement outlining the principles for amending the election law, and a rejection of the political position of the HDZ BiH,” which is the Croat political party participating in the electoral reform negotiations.

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