European Western Balkans

EU condemns the failure of ministers in BiH to ensure financing of elections

Sarajevo; Photo: Wikimedia Commons

SARAJEVO – EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina and US Embassy in Sarajevo condemned the failure of the Bosnian state government to adopt a decision ensuring the financing of the elections that have been announced for October, emphasizing that the elections “need to take place regularly on 2 October”, N1 reported.

The EU’s office stated that the failure of negotiations is “deeply concerning” and called for a swift decision to ensure the Central Election Commission can start the preparations for the elections.

“The Ministry of Finance needs to work constructively with the Central Electoral Commission to secure election financing. Elections need to take place on 2 October, in line with the law and the Consitution. We expect all political parties to ensure they are smoothly organized”, the EU Delegation to BiH said.

On Tuesday, Bosniak and Serb ministers in the Council of Ministers voted in favor of the item allocating funds for the October general elections, but in the end, it was not adopted because all the Croatian ministers were against it.

The Head of the Central Election Commission Suad Arnatović said due to the non-adoption of funds that they must not annul the entire procedure. He added that the submitted bids now are drastically higher than initially planned due to inflation.

“We had a proposal in June last year. The assessment is now a drastically different situation”, said Arnautović.

The Office of the High Representative in BiH after the decision of the BiH Council of Ministers not to provide funding for the elections, that citizens’ rights to free elections must not be questioned.

“The citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina must be enabled to enjoy their democratic rights to free, fair and democratic elections. After the Central Election Commission has called general elections, the Council of Ministers and all its members must meet their obligations without delay and provide the necessary funds to hold the elections. Authorities and elected officials must be accountable to the citizens”, OHR told N1.

The US Embassy in BiH also condemned HDZ BiH’s decision to reject the funding of general elections, calling the decision irresponsible and unjustified.

HDZ leader Čović: Serb and Bosniak united around “illegal proposal”

Leader of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) of BiH Dragan Čović called on Wednesday for the adoption of a state budget for the election process and accused Bosniak and Serb parties of uniting around an “illegal proposal” whose adoption was blocked by the Croat ministers.

He explained that Finance Minister Vjekoslav Bevanda has been trying for seven months to include this item on the agenda, but to no effect.

“Someone is deliberately trying to create a crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina by not adopting this budget”, said Čović adding that international officials in BiH should stop supporting proposals that are not in line with the country’s constitution and laws.

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