Roma representative tells High Rep to include ‘Others’ in BiH Election Law

NEWS 08.09.2021 13:39

Head Bosnia’s of the Roma Association Dervo Sejdic wrote an open letter to the High Representative in BiH, Christian Schmidt, on Wednesday, saying he expects him to "include the members of Others in his work, especially in harmonizing the Constitution and the Election Law of BiH in accordance with the verdict of the European Court of Human Rights.

Sejdic informed Schmidt that he is a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina, “is not a member of one of the three constituent peoples.”

“I belong to the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, within the constitutional category of ‘Others,’ with the right to vote but without the right to be elected, to the position of a member of the Bosnia’s Presidency and the House of Peoples of the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH,” he said.

He noted that High Representative Schmidt “forgets and eliminates” some 350,000 – 400,000 citizens belonging to the category of ‘Others’ who mostly live in Bosnia’s Federation entity, in his statements, stressing that ‘Others’ are an important subject in the Election processes of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Earlier this week, Bosnian media reported that Schmidt spoke at a press conference in Germany regarding Bosnia’s Electoral Law and the proposed amendments. He said that Bosnian Croats who are further reduced by emigration felt insufficiently represented in the “complicated state structures”.

“Croats must be given the opportunity to feel represented, not to end up with, say, some form of boycott of the elections,” Schmidt said.

“The discriminatory Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, when it comes to the election of a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina states in its Article V that The Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of three members: one Bosniak and one Croat, each elected directly from the Federation entity, and one Serb, who is elected directly elected from the territory of the Republika Srpska entity,” Sejdic wrote.

“This discriminatory determinant of the Constitution should be eliminated in such a way as to enable all citizens of BiH both active and passive suffrage,” he suggested.

“As someone who is personally involved and interested in the process of harmonizing the Constitution and the Election Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the European Convention on Human Rights, I least expected such, I would say reckless statements and comments from you,” Sejdic told Schmidt in his open letter. “As a legalist and a representative of the European Union, I expect that in your work, especially when working on the harmonization of the Constitution and the Election Law of BiH in accordance with the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights and its implementation, you must include us, members of the ‘Others’, because it concerns us.”



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