Plenkovic and Covic concerned about lack of agreement on Bosnia electoral reform

NEWS 03.02.2022 18:59
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Andrej Plenković, Dragan Čović
Source: Vlada RH / ilustracija

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and the chair of the House of Peoples of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Parliamentary Assembly, Dragan Covic, met in Zagreb on Thursday and expressed concern over the lack of agreement on electoral reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a government press release said.

Covic informed Plenkovic about the further activities of the political representatives of the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the activity of the Croatian National Assembly (HNS) after the latest round of talks on the reform of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s electoral legislation in the southern coastal town of Neum. He said that it often happened in practice that the co-signatories of the Mostar Agreement refused to implement it as the basis for a final agreement.

Covic noted the positive opinion of the Venice Commission on the HNS proposal, which provides for limited changes to the Constitution in order to implement all five judgments by the European Court of Human Rights. He said that the HNS, following the constitutional principle of constitutiveness and legitimate representation, presented models that would eliminate the existing anomalies of electoral legislation and prevent further discrimination and imposition of political representatives on the Croats as the smallest constituent people.

Plenkovic said that the Croatian government would continue to take an active part and provide support to further negotiations between political actors in Bosnia and Herzegovina so that an agreement on changes to electoral legislation could be achieved as soon as possible.

Plenkovic said that getting around the principles set out in the Dayton/Paris peace agreement had put the Croats in an unfair position for years, adding that the political actors should ensure equality and legitimate representation for all three constituent peoples in the highest institutions of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He stressed that an agreement on electoral reform was important for harmonious relations between the three constituent peoples and for the functioning and well-being of the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Plenkovic and Covic said they were pleased that the international representatives had acknowledged the proposals by the Croat representatives in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the views of Croatia’s government as a viable model for stability and functioning that would strengthen the key principles of the Dayton agreement while at the same time reflecting the European value system.

Plenkovic said he would continue talks with EU leaders and international representatives on the status of the Croats and the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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