Transparency International urges for transparent election reform in Bosnia

NEWS 01.12.2021 14:17
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Source: Photo by Arnaud Jaegers on Unsplash

While intensification of US and EU efforts on the much needed electoral reform in Bosnia is commendable, Transparency International (TI BiH) notes that the process must be transparent and the public familiarized with the proposals at hand, the international non-governmental organisation said Tuesday.

“Considering the importance of the reform of the entire election legislation, TI BiH emphasizes the need to make available all the relevant information on the negotiation process, as well as to involve all relevant actors in the process. The lack of information on specific solutions, and the lack of relevant institutional discussions on their direction and content, open additional space for speculation, which can undermine the credibility of the process, further complicate it or even lead to additional tensions,” said TI BiH.

The TI BiH noted that from the beginning of the entire process they offered concrete proposals regarding the improvement of the integrity of elections, primarily through ensuring the independence of the election administration, prevention of abuse and pressure on voters, all in accordance with relevant international recommendations.

“However, it is evident that there is no support or interest among the BiH authorities for reforms and respect for international standards, in terms of establishing integrity, and that the demands of representatives of ruling political parties are aimed exclusively at maintaining or increasing their control over the election process, under the guise of protection of national interests, creating a continuous crisis,” the TI BiH pointed out.

With this in mind, as well as the fact that there are only a few months left until the call of the 2022 general elections, there is little room for the adoption of solutions that could represent substantial progress or ensure an adequate procedure for their adoption, the ONG said, adding that measures must be taken to prevent blockades of the election process, but also to ensure significantly stronger oversight through a robust election observation mission at all polling stations, as well as through strengthening monitoring of the election process and preventing pressure on voters.

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