There was no progress in finding a solution for Bosnia’s Election Law after a meeting between the country’s political leaders and Venice Commission representatives, and a new meeting is scheduled for Tuesday morning.
Leaders of Bosnian political parties met with the Venice Commission's delegation on Monday to discuss the issue which, if remained unresolved, leaves it unclear how the upcoming October general election results will be implemented.
Two years ago the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina ruled that some provisions of the Election Law were inconsistent with the state Constitution and subsequently deleted two sections of the Law which treat the matter of representation in the House of Peoples of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), the semi-autonomous entity shared by Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats.
Since then, Bosnia's political leaders have failed to act in the legally allowed time frame to change the Law. Talks on the issue have been in deadlock for some time, despite mediation by international representatives present in the country.
The meetings with the Venice Commission experts represent the latest attempt to find a solution.
The Venice Commission experts arrived in Bosnia the last month, where they held a series of meetings in an attempt to assist Bosnia's politicians and authorities in finding an agreement. During the three-day visit, the foreign experts heard the opposing stances of Bosnia’s politicians on the matter and announced they would return to Bosnia in June to discuss the issue with the party leaders.
According to the leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Bosnia, Nermin Niksic, none of the political leaders would back down from their stance on the issue.
“As far as the SDP is concerned, we said we are prepared to talk about the issue and for the proposals we made in the FBiH Parliament to be a temporary solution for the upcoming election until a new Law is agreed on,” Niksic said.
“The principles of the Venice Commission say that state laws may not counter the entity Constitutions. We are all the problem, as nobody is backing down from their stance,” he said.
According to Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) representative, Borjana Kristo, her party is advocating proportional representation in the FBiH House of Peoples.
“We are advocating proportional representation and a legitimate election process in regard to the (FBiH) House of Peoples and the Presidency,” Kristo said, adding that all others oppose this concept as they have a different view in regard to the competencies of the FBiH House of Peoples.
The meeting was attended by leaders of the HDZ, SDP, the Union for a Better Future (SBB) and the main Bosniak party in the country, the Party of Democratic Action (SDA).