Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic-Radman said on Monday that most EU member states believed that it was necessary to change the electoral law in Bosnia and Herzegovina in order for elections to be held in October.
Only two member states are in favor of the elections being held regardless of the outcome of the negotiations on the electoral reform, he added.
“Most countries have supported our position, and that is that it is necessary to change the electoral law before the elections in order to ensure a legitimate representation of all three constituent peoples and others,” said Grlic-Radman after a meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers, where one of the topics was the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Asked whether any countries had said that the elections should be held later this year regardless of the outcome of the negotiations on changing the electoral law and on limited constitutional changes, Grlic-Radman said two countries held such position, but he stopped short of naming them.
Diplomatic sources reveal those are Italy and Austria.
“There were two countries that said that, but I responded that the elections couldn’t be held just for the sake of the calendar. I said that Bosnia and Herzegovina would experience even greater political destabilization, chaos and a situation that wouldn’t contribute to the country’s betterment if the elections were to be held according to the current system,” Grlic-Radman said.
Croatia and Croat parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina are against the position first adopted by the international community’s High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Christian Schmidt, that the general polls should be held like planned in October this year regardless of the outcome of the negotiations on changes to the electoral law and limited constitutional changes.
Such a position encourages the Bosniak side, which the status quo suits because they would still be able to choose Croatian representatives in joint state bodies.
At an extraordinary meeting held in Mostar on Saturday, the Croatian National Assembly, which brings together Croatian political parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina, concluded that Croats would raise the issue of restructuring BiH if their being outvoted in elections isn’t brought to an end.