Bosnian Croat parties reject ‘removal of ethnic prefixes’ in election law

NEWS 11.10.2021 20:25
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The Croatian National Assembly (HNS) of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday opposed the proposal "to remove the idea of constituent peoples" from the country's constitution, saying that "this would be a gross violation of the Dayton peace agreement and would lead to the Croats being outvoted," Croatian state agency Hina reported, carrying a press release. 

The presidency of the HNS, an umbrella organisation of about a dozen Croatian political parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina, met to discuss the proposal for the electoral and constitutional reform put forward by US State Department envoy Matthew Palmer after meeting representatives of the three constituent peoples – Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats.

“Limited constitutional changes must not lead to derogation of the constitution and prevent the constitutionality of the peoples in the election of their legitimate political representatives. Attempts to remove the ethnic prefixes represent a gross violation of Annex IV, which would result in complete discrimination, outvoting and imposition of political representatives in the key institutions – the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Houses of Peoples – which are designed to guarantee the constitutional rights of all three peoples,” the HNS presidency said in its conclusions.

It said that the Bosnian Croat political parties insist on the legitimate political representation of the three constituent peoples without a possibility of being outvoted.

The HNS accused Bosniak political parties of attempts to undermine the political status of the constituent peoples under the constitution and warned that removing the constituent peoples from the constitution would do away with “the multicultural, multiethnic and multiconfessional nature of Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

HNS president Dragan Covic said he had not seen the official American proposal for electoral reform, and that an agreement on this matter would not be possible without international mediation.

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