Komsic: Palmer, Eichhorst discussed erasing ethnic prefix from BiH Election Law

NEWS 30.11.2021 11:411 komentar
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Source: F.Z. / N1

Americans and Europeans are focusing on the Sejdic-Finci verdict when talking about Bosnia’s Election Law reform, Croat Presidency member Zeljko Komsic said after a meeting with US envoy for the BiH election reform Matthew Palmer and Managing Director of the European External Action Service Angelina Eichhorst on Tuesday, adding that other verdicts will have to be talked about as well.

Noting that they mostly discussed the Election Law reform and changes to the BiH Constitution, Komsic said that one could conclude that they were talking about erasing the ethnic prefix regarding the election of BiH Presidency members.

“The same could be said for the state-level House of peoples so that people who don’t declare themselves as members of either of the three major ethnic groups could run for that House,” Komsic said. “So my opinion is, of that is the case, that’s not a bad approach but the devil is in the details. When it comes to the blockade in the Federation (FBiH) entity, our opinion is that the FBiH House of Peoples is the key and that things must be unblocked there.”

The leader of the left-oriented Democratic Front (DF) noted that the implementation of the European Court of Human Rights and that is a problem.

“Americans and Europeans have brought the Sejdic-Finci verdict to the fore, and that verdict can be implemented. Eliminate ethnic determinants in the election of members of the Presidency of BiH and you have solved the problem. Do the same with the House of Peoples and you have solved that segment as well, but other judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, especially the Zornic verdict, are something from which everyone flees ‘like the devil from the cross’. That verdict is the most difficult to implement, but we will also have to talk about it,” said the leader of the DF.

Azra Zornic is a Bosnian citizen who sued Bosnia for not being able to run for the BiH House of Peoples. In that verdict, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg concluded that she has been discriminated against in the election process because she does not declare herself as a member of one of the three constituent peoples – Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs.

“They (Palmer and Eichhorst) insist on the Presidency, the House of Peoples and changes to the Election Law – in the sense that we don’t have ‘fraudulent elections’ anymore. They haven’t mentioned any stories of constituencies in front of me. The principle of the unequal value of the vote cannot be introduced, we cannot agree to that. It’s meaningless, and if we would go in that direction and introduce that variant, unequal values of the vote that would lead to ethnic limitation, ie territorialization of the ethnic principle and everything we have in BiH… We would only give the opponents of this country a basis to continue the division,” Komsic emphasized.

Palmer and Eichhorst had several meetings on Monday with BiH political leaders but also members of NGOs and civil society organizations to see their opinion as well. The two will stay in BiH for 3 days or even more in an attempt to reach an agreement as to how to amend the BiH Election Law.

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