Croatia supports OHR efforts to eliminate discrimination in BiH

Croatia's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Gordan Grlić Radman on Wednesday supported the efforts by international High Representative Christian Schmidt to eliminate discrimination against the constituent peoples in electing members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the upper house of parliament of the Federation entity.
The High Representative on Tuesday began consultations with representatives of political parties on the possibility of amending the Election Law, which has been confirmed by a number of officials. The Office of the High Representative (OHR) and US and EU administrations would not confirm or deny media reports that the High Representative might impose a decision in that regard.
Grlić Radman assessed that electoral reforms are an integral part of the efforts to stabilise the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially after the autumn elections.
"We support the efforts being made by the High Representative so that these reforms would remove all forms of discrimination in the electoral process and ensure a fair, legitimate electoral process so that all peoples can have their legitimate representatives both in the Presidency and in the House of Peoples", Grlić Radman told reporters during a visit to Bugojno, central Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Željko Komšić has been elected the Croat member of the BiH Presidency by predominantly Bosniak votes in the past three elections, and he has again announced his candidacy for the elections in the autumn. It is possible that Bosniak parties will elect six Croat delegates to the federal House of Peoples or one-third of the 17 delegates, which would enable them to appoint a government without the key Croat parties in the country.
In the incumbent House of Peoples, two Bosniak politicians, who died recently, were elected to the Croat club.
The ruling of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the case of Božo Ljubić challenged and removed the provisions on the method of electing representatives for the upper, ethnically-based House of Peoples, which is why there is a controversy about how to fill that gap.
Grlić Radman added that Croatia respects the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but expects the Dayton-Paris peace agreement to be adhered to, which includes ensuring the equality of the constituent peoples and citizens.
"Citizens and the peoples must feel equal here," he said.
Grlić Radman said that at the last meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council he warned of the importance of ensuring regional stability in the Balkans, highlighting the example of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He noted that electoral reform is among the 14 priorities for Bosnia and Herzegovina to be granted the status of EU membership candidate.

Text: Hina/MFEA

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