International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Dodik and Covic agree: BiH Election Law must respect legitimate representation

June 7, 2021

Erasing ‘constituent peoples’ from Bosnia’s Constitution is unacceptable and the current election watchdog in the country is illegitimate and unable to sustain BiH's election needs, leaders of the main Croat and Serb political parties Dragan Covic and Milorad Dodik said Monday after a meeting in Banja Luka, adding that political relations in the country are extremely complex.

“We confirmed that our positions regarding BiH’s vital issues are aligned and we also focused on the issue of our European path which is linked to all those priorities we talked about earlier, the most important of which being the Election Law of BiH,” Croad Democratic Party (HDZ BiH) leader Dragan Covic said.

“We also had these talks in Sarajevo and left it to the Federation (FBiH) entity to agree on the constituency of peoples in BiH, so that the legitimate representation of constituent peoples can be respected. Legitimate representatives of the Croat, Serb and Bosniak people throughout FBiH structures for both the House of Peoples and the Presidency should enable just that. This is a chance for all of us because this is a non-election year. Of course, all this can be accompanied by reforms that have been underway for a long time,” he said.

He pointed out that the political relations in BiH were assessed as “extremely complex” and for that reason, they strengthened their cooperation.

“When it comes to relations in the parliament, we agreed on our representatives who will align their positions on most things that come to the parliamentary procedure, as well as to the Council of Ministers, so that we have as few problems in debates as possible. In this way we will have an agreed position that everything we agree on can go through parliamentary procedures,” he Covic noted and added:

“Our common position is that the Central Election Commission is illegitimate and that it can’t it sustain the needs of the electoral process in BiH.”

The leader of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) Milorad Dodik said that their two parties have been cooperating non-stop and that they are not against the cooperation with other, primarily Bosniak parties.
“There are issues on which we disagree such as NATO, but we respect each other’s opinions,” Dodik said.

According to him, the key topic of the Monday meeting was the election reform which has been going on for over 10 years in BiH.

“We believe that we shouldn’t expect any reform of the Election Law if there is no reform of the elections for members of the Federation entity's Presidency and delegates to the House of Peoples,” he said.

When it comes to the elections for the BiH Presidency, Dodik believes that one of the three members must definitely be elected from the Republika Srpska entity (RS).

“We cannot accept that the notion of the constituency of the people be erased from the Constitution. We believe that it should remain there, that it’s a pledge for the construction of BiH on the basis of the constituency of peoples, and that only on the basis of that concept can BiH function,” he pointed out.

Dodik was also against the merging of the General and Local elections so that people can express themselves regarding the governing parties every two, instead of four years.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/dodik-and-covic-agree-bih-election-law-must-respect-legitimate-representation/

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