The U.S. Embassy and the European Union Delegation/EUSR to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) take note of the Central Election Commission (CEC) decision on allocation of seats in the Federation House of Peoples adopted today. We commend the CEC for taking action that will enable formation of Federation authorities and call upon all relevant stakeholders to undertake necessary steps in this direction. The decision adopted by CEC does not relieve responsible authorities from the obligation to address current gaps in the BiH Election Law in a systematic way. In that context, we encourage parties to intensify work on finding compromise solutions bringing the country closer, not further away, from European standards and democratic norms that ensure the equality of all in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Over the past 18 months, the United States and the EU attempted to facilitate dialogue among political parties in an effort to the address gaps in the BiH Election Law. Due to a lack of political will to compromise, parties failed to reach agreement on a legislative solution. In the absence of a legislative solution, the CEC has not only the authority, but also the responsibility to implement the election results. Experts from the Venice Commission made this clear in their discussions with political parties and with the CEC during visits to Sarajevo last summer and fall. Disagreements with the CEC decision should be resolved through available legal means, and the government formation process should not be held hostage.