The High Representative of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina said the decision to impose changes to the Election Law in the country on election day was his own, and that his priority was to make Bosnia’s Federation (FBiH) entity functional.
“I wanted the voters to make their decisions on Sunday before I make changes related to the period after the election. I think it is definitely better to announce something like that before the votes are counted, so that no one would have the impression that I was in any way keeping track of how many votes a party got or how many it needed or something similar. So I had a very short deadline in fact, in a way I was in competition with the CEC to announce my decision and that's how it was done,” Schmidt, who is tasked with overseeing the civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, told Radio Free Europe.
He said he consulted with parties and non-governmental organizations before imposing the changes, but that it was ultimately his own decision.
After Schmidt announced the changes, the European Union in BiH said in a statement that the decision was his own and that no EU institution was involved.
Schmidt stressed that his goal is to carry out the tasks arising from the Dayton Agreement and to preserve the spirit of that agreement.
“Therefore, the decisions I make are my decisions and it can be seen that I make them from this perspective. I can't wait for everything to be agreed upon,” he stressed.
He said that the EU, as well as the countries of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC), as well as the USA, Canadia, Japan and others, all agree on one issue and goal – to develop the country so it is at a point when it can decide for itself.
Schmidt said he believes that decisions in BiH should be made in the Parliament but that his priority was to make Bosnia’s Federation (FBiH) entity functional.