Criticism of exclusion of minorities
Human rights organization demands amendments to electoral law (Press Release)
The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) accuses the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) of excluding and discriminating against members of minority groups in the forthcoming general elections. According to the human rights organization, the government must finally meet the demands of the European Court of Human Rights, allowing members of minorities to run for the highest state offices. “The discrimination against minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina is to be seen as a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights,” stated Jasna Causevic, the STP’s BiH-expert, in Göttingen on Thursday. Currently, only Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs can be elected for offices in the Presidency or the People’s Chamber in the state parliament. The general elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina will take place on October 7, 2018.
The human rights organization urged the steering committee of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) of the Dayton Agreement to call for an end to this discriminatory practice. The council consists of 55 nations and international organizations from all over the world, including Germany.
The STP pointed out that, in 2009, the European Court of Human Rights had criticized the discrimination practice, demanding a timely amendment to the electoral law. However, nothing has happened since then, since the ruling parties could not agree on specific changes. “The continued exclusion of minorities is not only a disgrace for Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also for the guarantors of the Dayton Agreement, who are committed to democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human and minority rights,” Causevic emphasized.
The human rights organization is also concerned about that fact that several politicians are promoting a further fragmentation and division of the country. Nationalist ideas like this are dangerous and will only weaken the state. Thus, in order to prevent further tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there should be international sanctions against those who are trying to push through with such plans.
Headerpicutre: Sandro Weltin/Council of Europe via Flickr