16:21 / 02.08.2021.

Author: Domagoj Ferenčić

Schmidt replaces Inzko as High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina

High Representatives Schmidt and Inzko

High Representatives Schmidt and Inzko

Foto: Armin Durgut / PIXSELL

The change comes as the country is facing growing pressure from the international community to reform its election law, which currently discriminates against Croats.

German diplomat Christian Schmidt officially assumed the Office of the High Representative of the International Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina at a ceremony in Sarajevo today. In his address to the media Schmidt emphasized that he was committed to dialogue: "Thank you, that I have the opportunity now serving in future the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina. First of all, I come as a friend. I came as a friend of the people Bosnia and Herzegovina. I think it's necessary, not only to talk with officials, but with those who have sent you letters, dear Valentin, and expressed their opinion and position."

In spite of opposition from Serbia and Russia, Schmidt will succeed Austrian diplomat Valentin Inzko, who oversaw the implementation of the civilian aspects of the Dayton Accords over the past twelve years: "Christian and I have also worked together in recent months in preparation for this day. I have been impressed with his detailed knowledge of this country and the challenges and opportunities that lie before it. I'm impressed by his insight and his vision, and I'm confident that he will work successfully with his partners in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as with his international partners."

The change in the High Representative comes at a very precarious point in the country’s history, as Bosnian Muslims refuse to respect the ruling of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Constitutional Court in Sarajevo, which clearly ruled that the existing election law is discriminatory against Croats as one of the three constituent peoples in that country. The existing election law allows Bosnian Muslims to elect political representatives for Croats, effectively imposing their political will on one of the three constituent peoples of the country.

Source: HRT

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