Bosnia and Herzegovina: interethnic divisions a key feature of the elections

Despite an appropriate legal framework for the holding of democratic elections, and the fact that political parties, coalitions and independent candidates were able to campaign without obstruction, “the interethnic divide was a key factor” in the general elections held in Bosnia and Herzegovina on 12 October, according to the PACE Standing Committee, meeting today in Brussels.

The report, drafted by Tiny Kox (Netherlands, UEL) and approved today by PACE, criticised the “ethnicity-based restrictions on candidacy and voting rights”, which run counter to the standards of the Council of Europe. This was illustrated by the failure to implement the 2009 judgment by the European Court of Human Rights in the Sejdic and Finci case, the report points out.

In view of the ever-growing mistrust of citizens, PACE urged all politicians and political parties to find ways to regain public trust in the functioning of the democratic institutions in the country.