Foreign embassies in Bosnia: Further delay of authority formation unacceptable

NEWS 17.01.2019 19:21
Source: N1

Top international institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina reiterated their call for Bosnian political parties to focus on the establishment of the new government following the last year October election in this country.

“The efforts of political parties should focus on the establishment of new authorities, starting with the election of delegates to the new Federation House of Peoples by the cantonal assemblies,” said a joint statement issued by embassies of Germany, USA, the European Union (EU) Delegation and the Office of the High Representative (OHR), a top institution in charge of overseeing the civil implementation of the 1995 peace agreement.

Formation of this chamber became a top issue in the aftermath of the October election, due to the political disagreement on which population census results should be applied here. The 2013 and 1991 population censuses show different population structure as a result of ethnic cleansing during the 1992-95 Bosnian war and consequently, that would mean a different structure in the power-sharing system.

This chamber plays an important role in proposing and confirming executive authority in the Federation (FBiH), one of Bosnia's two semi-autonomous entity, it confirms the laws previously passed by the House of Representatives and it delegates five delegates from each the ranks of the Bosniaks and the Croats, two major ethnic groups in this entity.

Bosnia's Central Election Commission decided in late December that mandates in the parliament would be distributed according to the 2013 census and not the one from 1991, which sparked reactions and announcement of lawsuits over the decisions.

The chamber whose delegates are nominated from the next lower level of authority in the Federation – its ten cantons, have not been appointed to date.

“Having in mind that the general elections have taken place and been certified, the old House of Peoples lacks democratic legitimacy to make decisions, particularly on important issues like the adoption of the budget,” the foreign embassies warned in their statement issued on Thursday.

“Beside the legal questions concerning such decisions, the adoption of the budget by the old House of Peoples would also set a dangerous precedent, which could be abused to further delay the formation of authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is unacceptable,” they said.