US Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina condemned the actions of three political parties in Bosnian House of Peoples on Tuesday, assessing them as a “collective failure” to “fulfill their constitutional responsibilities.”
“HDZ BiH, with SNSD support inappropriately used the emergency procedure to submit take it or leave it electoral reform proposals that had already been determined to contradict EU legal and human rights standards,” the embassy said, adding that this included “political party ownership of electoral mandates, a two-list model for the BiH Presidency that would constitute further ethnic division, and other regressive elements.”
The embassy also called out the SDA party, saying that its decision to “abuse the HoP quorum requirements to block discussion was also inconsistent with the principle of functional, democratic institutions.”
“Disagreements should be resolved through debate and votes, not boycotts. Obstructing and boycotting state-level institutions are destabilizing anti-Dayton behaviors, regardless of who does it,” the embassy underlined.
HoP emergency session was not held on Tuesday because there was no quorum after the SDA members did not show up protesting against the agenda that included the Election Law Draft Amendment introducing the electoral college in the way BiH Presidency members are elected.
SDA leader and HoP member Bakir Izetbegovic warned that the situation with the Election Law would get complicated even further if such law were adopted, adding that it would be adopted with the votes of HDZ BiH and SNSD.
The US Embassy condemend the steps taken by all three political parties.
“Rather than recycling failed, maximalist proposals and obstructing the work of institutions, political parties should focus on achievable reforms and action to strengthen BiH’s democratic institutions,” said the embassy.
“This includes, at a bare minimum, Council of Ministers approval to fund October general elections and Parliamentary approval of the election integrity legislation based on input from the CEC, civil society, and ODIHR. BiH’s leaders have a profound responsibility to participate in governance, build consensus, and deliver on citizen expectations of timely, democratic elections, and progress toward a more prosperous future in the Euro-Atlantic community of nations,” it added.