High Representative: Strict penalties for election fraud in Bosnia


I am determined to fulfil my mandate, which is to restore and protect the functionality of the state. The senseless blocking must end," the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina said in his latest interview for Oslobodjenje daily.

“As a high representative, I want the citizens of BiH to feel that the power is in their hands on October 2. Election day should be the peak of active democracy. Elections belong to the people, not to political parties. Citizens are the ones who exercise their basic right and decide who will govern the country,” said Christian Schmidt at the beginning of his interview.

This crucial process, he noted, must proceed unhindered. Therefore, he announces severe penalties for electoral fraud.

“Those who try to obstruct the holding of free and fair elections, threatening the freedom of voters to vote for whomever they want, will immediately face severe penalties. To those who seek to exert illegal influence or pressure on voters and their families, I say: Electoral fraud and coercion are not only criminal acts, but can also be considered anti-Dayton activities that will not be tolerated,” said Schmidt.

He added that he understands the frustration and indignation of many citizens who are dissatisfied because there is no progress.

“As High Representative, I cannot change the Dayton Agreement or change the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Constitution can be changed only by the BiH Parliament, which is elected by the citizens of this country, and they make changes that are in accordance with the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights. These judgments were passed in the Sejdic-Finci, Zornic cases, as well as other similar verdicts. I am ready to help those who call on the competent authorities to ensure the immediate implementation of these decisions,” Schmidt said.

He also recalled that the election campaign has been going on for two weeks, and some politicians have hardly touched on the above-mentioned issues.

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