Elections In Mostar Are Critical

Today U.S. Special Representative for the Western Balkans, Matthew Palmer, U.S. Ambassador Eric Nelson, EU Head of Delegation/EUSR, Ambassador Johann Sattler, High Representative Valentin Inzko, OSCE Mission to BiH Ambassador Kathleen Kavalec, and UK Chargé d’Affaires Ruth Wiseman met with SDA President Bakir Izetbegović and HDZ-BiH President Dragan Čović to discuss the pressing need for elections in Mostar.  All present agreed that the citizens of Mostar have been deprived of their right to vote for too long and that urgent action is necessary to ensure that citizens of the city can vote in the 2020 municipal elections.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) made clear in its ruling on Mostar elections that the responsibility to resolve this impasse falls on the parliament.  As two of the parties with significant representation in parliament and with a strong base in Mostar, SDA and HDZ-BiH have a particularly important role to play in finding a politically acceptable solution that can be written into legislation before the 2020 elections are called in May.  The representatives of the International Community in this meeting expressed their readiness to support locally-led initiatives to find such a compromise solution that would restore the right of Mostar citizens to vote, address violations established by the ECtHR and BiH Constitutional Court rulings, and maintain Mostar as a unified, multi-ethnic city.