Plenković and Čović Discuss Need to Change Bosnia's Electoral Law

By 20 October 2021

ZAGREB, 20 October, 2021 - PM Andrej Plenković and the Deputy Chairman of the House of Peoples of the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Dragan Čović, agreed at a meeting in Zagreb on Tuesday it was necessary to change BiH's electoral law to ensure legitimate representation and equality of the constituent peoples.

They discussed BiH's path to European Union membership, cooperation between Croatia and BiH in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, changes to BiH's electoral legislation and successfully completed projects, such as the recently opened Svilaj bridge and the Gradiška bridge, Plenković's office said in a press release.

"The electoral law of Bosnia and Herzegovina must resolve the present situation in which political representatives are imposed, especially at the level of the Presidency and the House of Peoples of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and ensure legitimate representation of all three constituent peoples in an equal way while ensuring full active and passive voting rights for all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina," Čović said.

He said that the solutions he had proposed at previous meetings with political stakeholders in BiH and representatives of the international community fully incorporated the relevant rulings by the BiH Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights.

These solutions are based on the principle which both rulings describe as the foundation of the constitutional system, and that is the constitutiveness of the peoples, he added.

Plenković said that changes to electoral legislation should be the result of an agreement involving all political stakeholders in BiH, observing the spirit and letter of the Dayton/Paris peace agreement and the legitimate representation of all three constituent peoples in BiH.

"Our position is very clear - we want the anomaly that puts the Croats in an unfair position rectified. It is not good that one constituent people, in this case the Croats, do not feel good and do not feel represented," Plenković said.

He reiterated that Croatia is the strongest advocate of Bosnia and Herzegovina's EU membership bid, noting that the EU is the only guarantor of the country's reform and development process.

Following Čović's recent visit to the earthquake-ravaged town of Petrinja, Plenković thanked the BiH Croats for their donations and assistance in the reconstruction process.