PIC SB: “The implementation of reforms has almost stopped”

PIC SB: “The implementation of reforms has almost stopped”

The Peace Implementation Council Steering Board (PIC SB) Political Directors met in Sarajevo to review the process of implementation of the General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP), and reminded all parties of their obligation to comply fully with the GFAP, all its annexes, and decisions of the High Representative.

The PIC SB restated that the entities have no right to secede from BiH and only exist legally by virtue of the BiH Constitution. This international community institution reminded authorities in BiH that the BiH Constitution is an integral part of the GFAP and that the decisions of the BiH Constitutional Court are final and binding and must be implemented.

“The PIC SB noted that progress on political and economic reforms had slowed almost to a standstill since its last meeting, with minor exceptions.  While BiH has submitted its response to the EU’s membership questionnaire, adopted a set of excise laws and there have been efforts to improve regional cooperation, the implementation of reforms has almost stopped, particularly at the State and Federation BiH levels. There has been backsliding on rule of law, and serious concerns about the independence of the media and increasingly divisive rhetoric remain. FBiH political parties continued to refuse to compromise over essential changes to the BiH Election Law. The disproportionate purchases of long-barrelled weapons by some law enforcement agencies has raised concern”, PIC SB states.

It is added that Russian representative did not agree with the last statement in this paragraph of the Communiqué.

The PIC SB members encouraged the BiH political and institutional leaders at the relevant levels of authority to refrain from divisive, nationalist rhetoric in the pre-election period and beyond and to ensure the peaceful conduct of free and fair election. It is also necessary to implement urgently the decision of the BiH Constitutional Court on the so-called “Ljubić case” concerning the Federation House of Peoples, to enable the smooth implementation of the Election results and the formation of legislative and executive authorities at all levels. It is also necessary, without further delay, to implement the BiH Constitutional Court decision on Mostar. PIC SB demands BiH to extend support to the BiH Central Election Commission in organising the 2018 General Elections and refrain from any political pressure on this body, implement steps to ensure elections are credible, in part by ensuring that voter rolls are accurate and by increasing the transparency of polling station committees, implement the Sejdic/Finci and related decisions of the European Court of Human Rights after the elections and government formation.

They also demand the uphold to the rule of law, in particular by strengthening the institutions responsible for the fight against corruption at all levels of governance in BiH, refrain from challenging and undermining the state and entity level judicial institutions, and implement their decisions.

“BiH has to implement the BiH Constitutional Court decision on the Criminal Procedure Code in a way that enables the judicial and prosecutorial institutions of BiH to effectively tackle serious crimes, as a matter of urgency, in accordance with the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. Also, to implement the BiH Constitutional Court decision on the Law on the Intelligence Security Agency of BiH, as a matter of urgency, preserving BiH capabilities to continue cooperation as a reliable partner in intelligence and security cooperation”, concluded, among other things, the PIC SB.

At the press conference after the PIC SB session, International Community High Representative, Valentin Inzko, said that the most important issue is the implementation of the Sejdić/Finci decision but that it is not the most urgent.

“At the moment, the most urgent issue is to solve the changes of the Election Law and the elections to Federation BiH House of Peoples. These issues are urgent since the General Elections are in just a few months”, Inzko said./ΙΒΝΑ