Dzaferovic: Croatia presenting High Rep as an instrument of its foreign policy

NEWS 03.11.2022 19:54

The Chairman of Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency, Sefik Dzaferovic, listed a number of good decisions the High Representative of the international community, Christian Schmidt, made in the country, but strongly criticised his decision to impose electoral reform on election day, arguing that it represented a “huge blow” to the credibility of his office.

Dzaferovic welcomed the outcome of the UN Security Council vote on extending the mandate of the EU military operation in BiH.


“This mission is a stabilizing factor, which is necessary until Bosnia and Herzegovina secures sufficient domestic capacities. In the past more than half a year, I emphasized at all forums and meetings that, according to the Dayton Agreement, NATO has the right and obligation to deploy troops, if EUFOR’s mission is blocked,” Dzaferovic said.

As for the discussion on the actions of the High Representative of the international community in BiH, Dzaferovic said that criticism should address Schmidt’s actions, not his overall credibility as the international official tasked with overseeing the civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement.

“Given the importance of this institution, that criticism must be based on the truth, must be objective, must take into account the place and context where it is uttered. It must point out what is bad in the decisions of the OHR and must not undermine the position of the current High Representative. The report of the High Representative itself is to the greatest extent objective, except for the part concerning the amendments to the FBiH Constitution and the Electoral Law regarding the appointment of the House of Peoples,” he said.

Dzaferovic stressed that the High Representative made some good decisions recently as well, such as repealing the Law on Immovable Property of Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity and using his special powers to secure funds for the elections.

“It must not be forgotten that there was no domestic sanction mechanism to stop these processes that threatened BiH's sovereignty and democracy and would lead to a dangerous escalation. Also, the effort of the High Representative to ensure the unblocking mechanisms of the FBiH, as well as to improve the transparency of the election process, is a good start and basis, although it is not perfect”, he said.

However, he strongly criticised Schmidt’s decision to amend the Election Law on election day.

Dzaferovic has, alongside Bosnian Croat Presidency member, Zeljko Komsic, submitted an appeal to the BiH Constitutional Court, asking it to review Schmidt’s October 2 amendments.

He said that “the very fact that the representative of Croatia at the UN expressed satisfaction with Schmidt's decision is a huge blow to the credibility of the OHR and the PIC (Peace Implementation Council).”

“The fact that the government of a neighbouring country presents the OHR as an instrument of its foreign policy towards BiH is very disturbing for us in BiH, and it should be for the international community itself,” he said.


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