Dragan Čović and Bakir Izetbegović, leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina's leading Croat and Bosniak parties, confirmed on Saturday after meeting with European Council President Charles Michel that they would try to agree on a document before the June European Council to speed up the country's European path and resolve disputes over implementation of autumn elections.
After a 'working breakfast' lasting four hours at the EU delegation's residence in Sarajevo, HNS Bosnia and Herzegovina and HDZ leader Dragan Čović said he had the impression that all parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina were ready to take a step forward to meet with EU officials, which should take place before the European Council meets in June, and they agreed on a roadmap, which he said should include resolving disputes over the implementation of election results.
“As for the Croatian side, we said that we would talk about defining a road map in which unknowns concerning the implementation of election results must be eliminated,” said Čović in a statement for the media.
He added that it is no longer realistic to change the election law before the elections in the fall, but that for the next elections scheduled for October 2, the manner of filling the upper, nationally conceived House of Peoples of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina must be agreed upon.
In 2017, the Bosnia and Herzegovina Constitutional Court quashed provisions regarding the election of envoys to the House of Peoples, which is crucial for Croats so that three and a half times more Bosniaks would not completely remove them from power in the entity of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also at the state level.
“We have insisted on resolving the issue of those definitions of filling the House of Peoples that the Constitutional Court has put out of force, and that will certainly have to be resolved. We cannot go into the election process without knowing how we will conduct the election results,” added Čović.
He explained that resolving disputes over the implementation of the election results would significantly stabilize the crisis situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
SDA leader Bakir Izetbegović said talks on electoral reform would resume after the autumn general elections. He opposed the resumption of talks with European officials in the current format between the two strongest Croat and Bosniak parties, and called for other pro-Bosniak and civic parties to join.
“This time everyone should be present, not to evade and then collect political points on the fact that someone else went to Brussels, and they did not. This is our common country; these are dramatic things where everyone should be present,” said Izetbegović.
The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, posted photos of the meeting with Čović and Izetbegović on his Twitter account, stating that they are working on a roadmap aimed at removing tensions and making progress on Bosnia and Herzegovina's path to the EU. On his Twitter profile, Čović thanked Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, stating that the visit of the European Council leader took place thanks to his efforts.
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