No agreement on the reform of electoral legislation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is possible at this moment, and talks should continue only after the general election in October, the leader of the ruling Bosniak SDA party, Bakir Izetbegovic, said on Sunday.
“There is no legal space to amend the electoral law because the Central Electoral Commission called the election ten days ago. And also, we are too far off from an agreement,” Izetbegovic said in an interview with the Bosnian Faktor news website.
He said that negotiations on the electoral reform had fallen through because the leadership of the Bosnian Croat HDZ BiH party had “too ambitious plans” about amendments that should be adopted. He added that the HDZ BiH's strategy was wrong because it was based on the blockade of the Bosniak-Croat Federation entity, cooperation with Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik and pressure on the SDA and Bosniaks.
Commenting on the announcement that a senior EU official would come to Sarajevo this month, when the question of the electoral reform could be raised again, Izetbegovic said that nothing would come of it and that he was certain that there would be no pressure to reach an agreement before the 2 October election.
“We have had some preparatory meetings with their advisers which clearly showed this approach and priorities,” the SDA leader said. He pointed out that talks with EU officials would focus solely on the implementation of reforms and obstacles on the path to EU membership candidate status.
Izetbegovic said that the electoral reform would be discussed “as soon as a new post-election coalition is formed.”