Izetbegović: We have to resolve open issues in FBiH by end of March

Izetbegović: We have to resolve open issues in FBiH by end of March

SARAJEVO, February 23 (FENA) – Presidents of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) and the Croat Democratic Union (HDZBiH), Bakir Izetbegović and Dragan Čović, in presence of delegations from both parties, met today and discussed numerous open issues and announced the establishment of three working groups that will work on resolving them as soon as possible.

The focus of the meeting was on the reform of the Election Law, bringing BiH closer to the status of a candidate for membership in the European Union, and resolving all open issues in the Federation of BiH.

After the meeting, Izetbegović emphasized that the two sides did not get to the heart of the matter about the changes to the Election Law, but agreed, when it comes to the Federation of BiH, on the formation of a new government structure, the most important laws for the Federation of BiH and they spoke about some earlier agreements with the HDZ that have never been finalized.

“We will establish a working group for all the open issues in the Federation of BiH and everything should be resolved by the end of March. The second group was formed earlier, and it will deal with the changes to the Election Law. We expect the contouring of the final draft to be determined by the end of April. It is about the implementation of the judgment of the Constitutional Court of BiH on the appeal of Mr. Ljubić and the implementation of all judgments of the European Court of Human Rights,” said Izetbegović.

He pointed out that the amendments to the Election Law will include the recommendations of the OSCE, ODIHR and GRECO, which refer to transparency, process integrity, team training, counting of votes, new technologies, etc.

He emphasized that the third working group will deal with accelerating BiH’s European path, intensifying the agreements related to the implementation of the 14 priorities determined by the European Commission with respect to BiH’s application for EU membership.

“The team will work intensively to meet the conditions for obtaining a candidate status, and these are primarily three well-known laws and this process should be completed within a few months. We want to make a significant step forward on all the 14 priorities by the end of 2021,” says Izetbegović.

When asked about the formation of the new convocation of the FBiH Government, he said that the SDA insists on starting of this process at the FBiH level as soon as possible, from the President to the FBiH Government.

“We have to see if we have the coalition capacity to pass it in the House of Peoples. If we don’t have it, then the first step will be to fill two ministerial positions during the month of March. That is the minimum needed for the SDA to continue negotiating on other issues.

We also have to pass a law on the government in the FBiH, according to which we will replace some ministries with some others because it is time to move forward in accordance with the times and needs of the Federation of BiH. All this will be done by the most serious politicians of the Federation of BiH, and I think that it will move us towards dealing with the issue of the Election Law,” said Izetbegović.

He added that he did not see a way to implement the Sejdić-Finci and other judgments without amending the BiH Constitution.

“I do not know how Mr. Finci or Mr. Sejdić could run for the Presidency of BiH without deleting the prefixes in the Constitution that one Bosniak, Croat, and Serb must sit in the Presidency. The HDZ says that it has a solution for this issue and we will gladly hear it,” Izetbegović concluded.

He also referred to the possibility of introducing the institution of an early election and pointed out that elections are held in BiH every two years, which is why a year has already been lost for the reforms, and early elections would further worsen the situation.

“In such a situation, we would have elections every few months and nothing could be done in BiH, because we would constantly bring the governments down. With our political legacy, early elections would be a disaster for BiH,” Izetbegović concluded.