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Bosnia & Herzegovina

BiH: Ambassadors stress importance of changes to Electoral Law in virtual meeting

The President and members of the BiH Central Election Commission held an online meeting with Ambassador Johann Sattler, Head of the European Union Delegation and EU Special Representative in BiH Valentin Inzko, High Representative of the International Community in BiH, Ambassador Kathleen Kavalec, Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH and Eric Nelson, US Ambassador to BiH.

At the meeting, the ambassadors welcomed the work and efforts made by the BiH Central Election Commission in implementing the 2020 Local Elections, in extremely difficult circumstances.

The BiH Central Election Commission was exposed to political attacks, with political leaders committing punishable attacks on individual members of the institution. There are still clear efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the BiH Central Election Commission as an institution.

They discussed the reform of the BiH Electoral Law and the formation and launch of the Interdepartmental Working Group on Amendments to the BiH Electoral Law, ie the participation of representatives of the BiH Central Election Commission in its work.

It was concluded that the involvement of the BiH Central Election Commission in electoral reform is extremely important. The role of the BiH Central Election Commission in electoral reform, as an implementing body, and because of its experience in organizing and conducting elections, can only contribute to a higher quality of legislative solutions.

Furthermore, it was stressed at the meeting that visible problems in the electoral system cannot be solved by the work of the BiH Central Election Commission alone. The electoral reform process is essential to bring BiH closer to European standards and to provide new tools to eliminate fraud and improve electoral functioning.

The meeting also focused on concrete solutions to change the law in terms of changing the composition of polling stations, strengthening the provisions for campaign financing and amending bylaws, improving the accuracy and speed of ballot counting, increasing accuracy of the Central Register of Voters and their addition. legal provisions to include technologies in the electoral system process, which can greatly improve the transparency of the 2022 elections.

BiH CEC members briefed the ambassadors on the institution’s active work in drafting proposals for changes to the BiH Electoral Law, which will be provided in order to implement reforms to improve BiH’s electoral system and close the gap with European Standards.

Once finalized, the proposal will be presented to representatives of the international community, the ODIHR, the Venice Commission, as well as the academic community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the NGO sector and the general public in BiH, and will contain solutions from the Recommendations of the ODIHR / GRECO, declares CEC of BiH.

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