When will Mostar get the new Statute?

After the political saga regarding the elections in Mostar, now it’s the turn for the councilors and an amendment to the Statute imposed 17 years ago, which is still in force.

The councilors need to submit their proposals, then consider them, and after that adopt them by a two-thirds majority. However, some key things cannot be changed by amending the Statute.

The journalist checked what will change then.

Amendments to the Statute of the City of Mostar would be mostly technical and will need to be aligned with the Constitutional Court ruling from 2010. They would also refer to local communities for which no jurisdiction has been established and to changes that are reflected in the needs of the city and its citizens.

”In 2004, it was imposed, many things have changed which have not included in this Statute, which is still in force. I expect that the public will be more actively involved in this because the Statute is a document on which the whole city is based, ” said Slaven Zeljko, president of the City Board of HDZ Mostar.

In many ways, Mostar is a so-called case, even when it comes to its Statute. The long-term political struggle and confrontation are clearly breaking down in this city. Councilors agree that amendments to the unconstitutional and imposed Statute are needed, in order to make Mostar a functional, European city, as they see it in the future.

”From full national equality, full functional administration of Mostar. We see this Statute as a model for other multiethnic areas as well. We primarily think of Travnik, because the regulation of Mostar and Travnik according to the Washington agreement was based on the same principles, ” Slaven Bevanda, president of the Statute Commission in the Mostar City Council (HRS), told.

”As a normal European city, with all the specifics of the Washington and Dayton Agreements. There are quotas for all nations, the election of the mayor. Direct election requires amendments to the Federation Constitution of the Federation. We have nothing against it, but when the preconditions are implemented at higher levels of government, ” as Adil Suta, a councilor in the Mostar City Council (SDA), said.

The amendment of the Statute itself cannot affect the election of the mayor. While in other cities of our country, citizens elect him directly, in Mostar it is done by councilors. To change that, it is necessary to change the Constitution of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH).

”Another specificity and specialty for the City of Mostar. It would be great if we could regulate all relations in Mostar within the city, and not to have such specifics that have been going on since the Washington and Dayton agreements, ” stated Slaven Zeljko, president of the City Board of HDZ Mostar.

According to Nurko Pobric, the professor of constitutional law, it would be perfect if the City of Mostar was one constituency, as is the case with all other BiH cities.

”Moreover, the number of constituent representatives and others would be minimally guaranteed, regardless of the election result, and the mayor would be elected by the citizens, ” Nurko Pobric, the professor of constitutional law, noted.

The interlocutors agree on one thing. They think that, for now, there is no political will for changes to the Constitution of the FBiH, which would allow the citizens to directly elect the mayor, like everyone else in BiH.

”I am not sure how realistic it is at this moment to approach any change to the FBiH Constitution considering the political relations in Sarajevo on the Bosniak political scene, ” told Slaven Bevanda, president of the Statute Commission in the Mostar City Council (HRS).

”I don’t think that’s realistic at the moment, ” said Adil Suta, a councilor in the Mostar City Council (SDA).

While councilors are advocating for the city on the Neretva to become a European pearl, the real question remains when and how it will become one. The new councilors and the higher politics as well have the challenging goal – how to ensure the prosperity and a better future for the citizens of Mostar and whether the first step towards that goal can be the change of the Statute, BHRT writes.


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