Pudaric: Systemic discrimination finally proven

NEWS 31.05.2018 20:27
Source: N1

Svetozar Pudaric, an independent candidate at the general election in Bosnia and Herzegovina, told N1 that he has discovered a systemic discrimination in Bosnia when it comes to one’s right to vote and to be elected, after the Central Election Commission (CEC) rejected his application for Bosnian Presidency member.

“I can say that I am one of the rare people who are happy when they lose a dispute. In this case, I am happy I was denied candidacy for the Presidency member, because this entire activity was launched to finally prove that systemic discrimination exists,” Pudaric said.

The Central Election Commission's decision is even more important to Pudaric because it is a decision of a domestic institution.

“The discrimination was proved within our own judicial system, and not at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Our legal system has proved it has the power and strength to deal with this issue. Therefore, this is the first precondition to continue the battle to erase this systemic discrimination from Bosnia’s Election Law,” Pudaric concluded.

The CEC held a session, Thursday, at which they verified a total of 36 candidate lists and identified a number of shortcomings in other lists. When it comes to independent candidates, where Pudaric belongs, the CEC rejected Pudaric’s candidacy on account of his residence.

Given that he declared himself as a Serb, and that his place of residence is in the territory of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) entity, he is unable to be a candidate for a member of Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency from the Serb people.

Namely, the Bosnian Constitution stipulates the Presidency consists of three members, representatives of the three constituent peoples living in Bosnia. These are the Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats. The Bosniak and Croat members of the Presidency are elected in the FBiH, while the Serb Presidency member is elected in the Republika Srpska (RS) entity.

The Presidency members must, therefore, come from the respective entities where their place of residence was legally registered prior to the election.