Mikic: BiH Election law must be changed

Mikic: BiH Election law must be changed

Sarajevo, March 30, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Mladen Dragojlovic

President of BiH Central Election Commission (CEC), Stjepan Mikic (photo), called on Monday the BiH Parliament to begin the procedure for changes in the state Election law.

In his speech on the session of House of Peoples in BiH Parliament, where he introduced the CEC report on the general elections of October 2014, Mikic said that this is first report about elections in post war period. He added that the purpose of this report is to encourage BiH Parliament to take the necessary steps in order to create the conditions to complete the Group of Serb delegates in House of Representatives in BiH Federation Parliament.

“At this moment 13 out of the 17 seats intended for Serb people delegates are filled. We have made urgent changes in order to solve this problem and complete the Group of Serb delegates”, Mikic said, adding that it is necessary to establish a working group which will prepare these changes in the short term. Mikic said that it is not good to make changes on this law during election year, but that there is enough time to do this now.

Mikic added that the current Election law should be seriously revised, maybe even create a new one which will keep all positive provisions from this law. He recalled that earlier the working group, which tried make some changes, adopted 28 amendments but they were not sent in Parliament because there was no agreement about one amendment related with the city of Mostar.

“In the name of my colleagues in CEC, I am asking you to adopt this report and begin the actions on the establishment of a working group for changes in the election law”, Mikic said.

During the debate on CEC report, MPs in BiH Parliament House of Peoples agreed that it is necessary to make changes in the Election law. Serb delegate, Dragutin Rodic, said that it is necessary to make some corrections in certain segments of this Law.

“Along with urgent correction in the part about elections in the House of Peoples of BiH Federation Parliament, it is necessary to make changes regarding election committees, the deadline for publishing of election results, election census and election lists”, Rodic pointed out.

He said that the previous working group came up with certain solutions which can be the starting base for the work of the new group. Rodic also expressed his hope that the new working group will have more success and that new law will be introduced before local 2016 election and 2018 general election.

Chairman of the Group of Bosniak delegates, Halid Genjac, said that the biggest problem for the public is the deadline for the publication of election results.

Croatian delegate, Martin Raguz, on his part, emphasised that BiH has the world record in number of invalid ballots in elections of BiH Presidency, even though it is the simplest of all ballots.

“The number of invalid ballots for the BiH Presidency increases from election to election”, Raguz warned.