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U.S. Embassy Statement on the BiH Parliament House of Peoples Session
April 26, 2022

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Today’s display in the BiH Parliament House of Peoples was a collective failure by political representatives to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities.  HDZ BiH, with SNSD support, inappropriately used the emergency procedure to submit take it or leave it electoral reform proposals that had already been determined to contradict EU legal and human rights standards.  This included political party ownership of electoral mandates, a two-list model for the BiH Presidency that would constitute further ethnic division, and other regressive elements.

SDA’s decision to abuse the HoP quorum requirement to block discussion was also inconsistent with the principle of functional, democratic institutions.  Disagreements should be resolved through debate and votes, not boycotts.  Obstructing and boycotting state-level institutions are destabilizing anti-Dayton behaviors, regardless of who does it.

Rather than recycling failed, maximalist proposals and obstructing the work of institutions, political parties should focus on achievable reforms and action to strengthen BiH’s democratic institutions.

This includes, at a bare minimum, Council of Ministers approval to fund October general elections and Parliamentary approval of the election integrity legislation based on input from the CEC, civil society, and ODIHR.  BiH’s leaders have a profound responsibility to participate in governance, build consensus, and deliver on citizen expectations of timely, democratic elections, and progress toward a more prosperous future in the Euro-Atlantic community of nations.