EU Officials Urge Bosnian Leaders to Amend Election law

European Union’s senior officials urged Bosnian leaders to strike a deal on the country’s election legislation reform, warning the leaders of main political parties that a failure to do so days before the October general elections are called will be a serious blow to Bosnia’s hopes of becoming a candidate for membership in the Union.

“The European Commission in its recent report on Bosnia and Herzegovina calls on political leaders to assume their responsibilities and show willingness to compromise on a solution with regard to the indirect elections of the Federation entity House of Peoples. In light of earlier commitments, political leaders have yet to reach an agreement on how to amend the provisions of the electoral legislation following recent rulings of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said the EU diplomacy chief Federica Mogherini and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn in a joint statement.

“The ongoing local facilitation efforts by EU and US ambassadors to Bosnia and Herzegovina have provided a framework conducive to a solution being found. We expect the leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina to reach a compromise without further delay in the best interest of their country. If the results of the general election cannot be implemented, the formation of a new government could be at risk,” the officials said.

All previous attempts at reaching an agreement on election rules in the Federation between the Bosniak and Bosnian Croat parties have failed. Bosnia’s central election commission is expected to call the elections on May 8. Changes to the election law passed after that will not affect the election rules.

“The holding of elections and the implementation of their results, including proper functioning of the institutions, is a fundamental democratic requirement for any country aspiring to join the European Union. Holding the future election results hostage to party interests is not an option.”

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