The story of the imposition of changes to the electoral law after a year of futile attempts by domestic actors brought all political fears and anxieties to the surface.
The story about the intensive consultations in the Office of the High Representative (OHR) in the direction of imposing changes to the electoral law was initially received shyly and was treated only by some media. The OHR, as well as members of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC), remained silent and politely replied that they did not want to comment on media reports.
In the meantime, High Representative Christian Schmidt, as well as his legal team, held talks with party leaders about the imposition of the electoral law. Political representatives then started commenting on those talks and the public’s interest intensified.
Then part of the proposal of what Schmidt intended to do was leaked, which agitated the political public to the maximum. For the last two days, almost all political actors in our country spoke and interpreted in their own way what is cooking in the OHR kitchen.
The draft proposal thus put angry political opponents on the same side. Criticism of Schmidt’s proposal was directed by the SDA, DF, but also the SDP, Our Party, as well as People and Justice. Criticisms are mainly focused on the details related to the imposition of changes to the laws that regulate the filling of the House of Peoples of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), as well as the method of electing the president and vice president of the FBiH.
The famous introduction of the 3 percent census, which is required for a certain canton to appoint delegates from a constituent nation, has been criticized the most.
Criticism was also directed at the proposal on the election of the president and vice president of FBiH. Currently, six delegates from each caucus in the House of Peoples, except Others, are needed to elect the president and vice-presidents of FBiH, who jointly appoint the representative for the Government of FBiH. However, according to Schmidt’s proposal, as far as it is possible to analyze on the basis of what appeared in public, that threshold has now been raised to eight, that is, eight delegates.
”The debate on the formation of the government will be carried out by successively reducing the voting threshold for appointing candidates for the Presidency of the FBiH if the delegates do not propose candidates within the given deadlines. The votes of at least 8 delegates in each caucus of the House of Peoples of the FBiH are required to nominate a candidate. If a caucus fails to nominate a candidate within 30 days, the number of delegates required to do so will be reduced to 5. If this does not lead to a nomination either, a nomination will be possible from any group of 2 delegates after an additional 30 days,” it is stated in the proposal.
It is estimated that this gives exclusivity to the HDZ and that this party in any combination becomes an unavoidable factor in the election of authorities in the FBiH.
Schmidt is still silent on this issue, and according to certain sources, he should impose changes to the electoral law in the next week. It remains to be seen how well the leaked proposal matches the final version.