BiH: HDZ BiH and SNSD delegations met in Banja Luka on election reform

BiH: HDZ BiH and SNSD delegations met in Banja Luka on election reform

President of Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) BiH Dragan Čović has said today in Banja Luka that political relations in BiH are complex, and that it is necessary to strengthen cooperation between SNSD and HDZ at the parliamentary level, as well as in the House of Peoples BiH.

“The goal is to have fewer problems in the discussions, to have an agreed position, and that everything we agree on can go through procedures of the House of Peoples and parliamentary,” Čović said after the meeting of the delegations of HDZ BiH and SNSD.

Leaders of the main Croat and Serb political parties Dragan Čović and Milorad Dodik said that erasing of category ‘constituent peoples’ from BiH Constitution is unacceptable and the current Central Election Commission is illegitimate and unable to sustain BiH’s election needs.

“We confirmed that our positions regarding BiH’s vital issues are aligned and we also focused on the issue of our European path which is linked to all those priorities we talked about earlier, the most important of which being the Election Law of BiH,” said HDZ BiH leader Dragan Čović .

“We also had these talks in Sarajevo and left it to the Federation BiH (FBiH) to agree on the constituency of peoples in BiH, so that the legitimate representation of constituent peoples can be respected. Legitimate representatives of the Croat, Serb and Bosniak people throughout FBiH structures for both the House of Peoples and the Presidency should enable just that. This is a chance for all of us because this is a non-election year. Of course, all this can be accompanied by reforms that have been underway for a long time,” he said.

The leader of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) Milorad Dodik said that their two parties have been cooperating non-stop and that they are not against the cooperation with other, primarily Bosniak parties.

“There are issues on which we disagree such as NATO, but we respect each other’s opinions,” Dodik said.

According to him, the key topic of the Monday meeting was the election reform that has been going on for over 10 years in BiH.

“We believe that we shouldn’t expect any reform of the Election Law if there is no reform of the elections for members of the BiH Presidency from Federation BiH and delegates to the House of Peoples,” he said.

When it comes to the elections for the BiH Presidency, Dodik believes that one of the three members must definitely be elected from the Republika Srpska.

“We cannot accept that the notion of the constituency of the people is erased from the Constitution. We believe that it should remain there, that it’s a pledge for the construction of BiH on the basis of the constituency of peoples, and that only on the basis of that concept can BiH function,” he pointed out.

Dodik was also against the merging of the General and Local elections so that people can express themselves regarding the governing parties every two, instead of four years.