19/09/2014 Bosnia and Herzegovina: statement by the PACE pre-electoral delegation

Vijeće Savjet Evrope

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A pre-electoral delegation from the Parliamentary Meeting of the Council of Europe (PACE) visited Sarajevo and Banja Luka to evaluate the election marketing campaign and the preparation of the overall elections to be held on 12 October 2014.

The significance of the upcoming common elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina was identified by most interlocutors of the PACE delegation. The delegation was knowledgeable of the  critical challenges dealing with the nation – financial decline, excessive degree of unemployment, broad unfold corruption and penalties of catastrophic floods. These challenges will play an essential position within the marketing campaign, the delegation was advised.

The delegation notes with satisfaction that each one political stakeholders expressed real confidence within the Central Election Fee’s work. However, the delegation was knowledgeable by the CEC that there's a sure political strain – principally oblique – to its functioning, i.e by limiting its finances. Based on the CEC, the weakest hyperlink is the functioning of the Municipal and Polling Stations commissions.

The delegation was additionally knowledgeable by some interlocutors a few danger of potential irregularities on election day resembling a number of voting, vote shopping for, strain on electors, particularly in rural areas, potential manipulations, notably throughout and after the vote rely. Others see much less hazard for irregularities. However, the delegation calls on the Central Election Fee, important political stakeholders and related state our bodies to guarantee the impartial work of all polling stations commissions and to take applicable measures to keep away from any manipulations.

The delegation regrets that, regardless of a authorized obligation, there are nonetheless vital deviations in constituency measurement, which makes the vote weight unequal. This isn't according to the elemental rules on equal suffrage of the Council of Europe Venice Fee’s Code of excellent follow in electoral issues.

The delegation famous that the media setting is numerous. However, the delegation was additionally knowledgeable that many media retailers nonetheless stay segmented alongside ethnic and political strains. Public broadcasters have the duty to make sure equal entry for all political events and to not privilege the ruling events. Nevertheless, the delegation additionally heard allegations, primarily however not solely in Republika Srpska, of attainable misuse of administrative assets and unequal entry to public media.

In regards to the financing of election campaigns and political events, the PACE delegation identified that some suggestions adopted by the Council of Europe’s Group of States towards corruption (GRECO) in 2013 nonetheless stay unaddressed, specifically the transparency of donations, the auditing competencies of the related State establishments and the shortage of efficient sanctions. The brand new regulation on battle of pursuits, which was adopted in 2013, was additionally flagged as a attainable supply of issues after the elections.

The PACE delegation expressed its nice concern that, regardless of the Meeting’s earlier resolutions on incompatibility of the structure and election laws with the European Conference on Human Rights, the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina did not amend the constitutional and authorized framework to take away ethnicity and residency based mostly discriminations with regard to the appropriate to face for elections to the Presidency and Home of Peoples. Consequently, the 12 October basic election as soon as once more shall be held in violation of the Conference. All interlocutors of political events stated that this matter can be solved after the elections – a promise additionally made four years in the past.

The delegation had conferences with leaders and representatives of political events, with representatives of the collegium of the BiH Parliamentary Meeting, with the members of the Central Election Fee, representatives of worldwide group, OSCE/ODIHR mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina in addition to with representatives of civil society.

The Parliamentary Meeting will ship a 32-member delegation to watch the overall elections on 12 October 2014.

Members of the delegation:

Tiny Kox (Netherlands, UEL), head of the delegation
Naira Karapetyan (Armenia, EPP/CD)
René Rouquet (France, SOC)
Margus Hanson (Estonia, ALDE)
Reha Denemeç  (Turkey, EDG)

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