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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



Slaven Kovacevic says his victory in ECHR is victory over High Representative

August 29, 2023

Slaven Kovacevic, the man who proved before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that Bosnia’s elections are undemocratic, said Tuesday that he did it because he loved his country and did not want to let politicians turn it into a monstrosity.

Kovacevic who is an adviser to the BiH Presidency member Zeljko Komsic, addressed the ECHR stating that his right is violated because, as a resident of Sarajevo, he cannot vote for the BiH Presidency member coming from the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska (RS) entity, nor as a citizen of the Federation (FBiH) entity can he be a delegate in the House of Peoples of the BiH Parliament.

“Some try to question my ethnicity. I am Bosnian and Herzegovinian. I didn’t point that out in my lawsuit because I believe that any type of ethnicity is a problem for BiH. I did this as a citizen. I filed a lawsuit against the country I love. I am bitter about this today. It's not the country's fault, it's the fault of the political elites trying to make it into a monster,” Kovacevic said at the beginning.

After that, he pointed out the reasons why he firmly believes that the verdict in his case should not be put in the same basket as the verdicts in the cases of Pudaric, Sejdic Finci, Zornic and others.

“I asked for the protection of my active right to vote. Other verdicts spoke about the protection of their passive right to vote, the right that enables them to run for office. I asked to choose whomever I wanted for all the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, without restrictions. I proved that there is no reasonable justification for the state to have such a system for the BiH Presidency and the BiH House of Peoples in which I and other citizens are prevented from voting,” he stated.

The appellant also explained what he achieved with the verdict.

“The concept of legitimate political representation of the constituent peoples has been destroyed. The court found that this country should provide primary citizen representation in institutions,” Kovacevic stressed.

He also concluded that it is not true that the verdict overturns the Dayton Peace Agreement, which is an international treaty, but it questions the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which underwent several attempts of “upgrade” because Bosnia and Herzegovina is moving towards the EU membership.

Kovacevic pointed out that he is very interested in the reaction of the countries of the quint, and that this is his victory over High Representative Christian Schmidt, who is “disgraced by this verdict”.

“I am also very interested in what the EU Delegation to BiH will say. Last year, we signed the Brussels Agreement, which implies the implementation of the European Court verdicts. And what about the BiH Constitutional Court verdicts? They act in four different ways, and this is stated in this verdict” Kovacevic concluded.

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/slaven-kovacevic-says-his-victory-in-echr-is-victory-over-high-representative/

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