OHR urges cantonal assemblies to amend their constitutions

NEWS 29.05.2018 18:37
Source: N1

The Office of the High Representative (OHR) has welcomed the court's decision passed on Tuesday, which obliges the cantonal assemblies in three Bosnia's cantons to amend their constitutions and align them with the Constitution of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), Bosnia's entity dominated by Bosniaks and Croats.

The decision, passed by the FBiH Constitutional Court, obliges the Posavina, Herzegovina-Neretva and West-Herzegovina Cantons to amend their constitution with respect to ensuring the full equality of Serb constituent people, the Serbian and Bosnian language, and the Cyrillic script.

The OHR recalled that its earlier decision from 2002 “determined that all three constituent peoples are equal in the FBiH, that the official languages of the FBiH are Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian, and that the official scripts shall be Latin and Cyrillic.”

“It is important to finally harmonize unconstitutional provisions of three cantonal constitutions with the related provisions of the FBiH Constitution.” said the OHR, the institution established in the mid-1990s to oversee the civilian implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) which ended the 1992-95 armed conflict in Bosnia.

The FBiH Constitutional Court tasked the parliaments of the three cantons to pass the amendments to their respective constitutions within six months after the court's decision is published in the Official Gazette.

 “I urge cantonal assemblies to implement today's judgement of the FBiH Constitutional Court without delay, which is a constitutional obligation, but also a friendly gesture of good will towards the Serb neighbours,” said the High Representative.

Bosnia's state Constitution mentions three autochtonous ethnic groups – Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats as constituent peoples, and guarantees them equal rights in terms of use of their respective languages.