Conclusions of the Extraordinary Session of the Croat National Assembly in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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  1. The Croat National Assembly (HNS) has made the assessment that the HNS negotiating team has consistently and responsibly implemented the previously established negotiating framework and the Political Agreement of June 17, 2020 on the principles of amending the Election Law of BiH and limited amendments to the Constitution of BiH (in accordance with the Decision of the Constitutional Court U 23/14 and the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights), especially in the part relating to the legitimate political representation of the constituent peoples at all administrative-political levels of government.
  2. The HNS regrets that the efforts made thus far in the negotiations intended to ensure the necessary amendments to the Election Law and limited amendments to the Constitution of BiH (in accordance with the Decision of the Constitutional Court U 23/14 and the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights) have not been successful. In the negotiation process in which representatives of the European Union and the USA were involved as facilitators (mediators), the Croat negotiating team offered a number of concrete proposals for amendments to the Election Law and limited amendments to the Constitution of BiH.

    HNS is prepared to continue negotiations with Bosniak and other political parties in BiH on changes to the Election Law and limited constitutional changes -following the already agreed-upon changes to the Constitution of BiH with representatives of the Venice Commission – in order to create the preconditions for holding general elections. Therefore, we call on the representatives of the international community involved in the negotiation process to exert their utmost efforts to the completion of the negotiation process on amendments to the Election Law and limited amendments to the Constitution, which are of paramount importance for the stability and European future of BiH.

  3. The HNS will consistently advocate for the original constitutional principles accomplished and achieved in the Washington and Dayton Peace Agreements, which established Croats, Bosniaks and Serbs as constituent peoples and other citizens. We are prepared to firmly oppose all further initiatives that are conducive to the deconstituting of the Croat people in BiH.
  4. All political positions which advocate the blocking of the implementation of the Political Agreement of Mostar of June 17, 2020, thereby preventing the Croat constituent people from legitimate political representation in the Houses of the Peoples and the Presidency of BiH, will be considered by the HNS to be contrary to the Croat political rights and to present a threat to the national interests and political subjectivity of the Croats in BiH.
  5. The HNS believes that the formal and legal conditions for holding the 2022 General Elections will not be met until the existing Election Law of BiH is amended. To this end, it is necessary to implement the Decision of the Constitutional Court of BiH U-23/14 and all judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in order to ensure legitimate political representation for each of the three constituent peoples and to provide them the possibility of running for office, in accordance with constitutional provisions deriving from the General Framework Agreement for Peace in BiH.
  6. The HNS emphasizes in particular that the Central Election Commission (CEC) is not and cannot be a legislator nor does it have the right to assume the competencies of the BiH Parliamentary Assembly. We equally emphasize that the CEC was not elected and appointed in accordance with the provisions of the Election Law of BiH. If the Election Law is not amended in accordance with the previous points and the General Elections are nevertheless called and conducted under these conditions, the HNS will consider them contrary to the letter of the Constitution and the spirit and principles of the Dayton Peace Agreement. Representatives of the HNS will oppose such a procedure by all legitimate legal and political means.
  7. The HNS and all its members will closely monitor the continuation of political negotiations on amendments to the Election Law and limited constitutional reforms, as well as consider solutions to the overall political situation in BiH. If the process of deconstitution of the Croat people continues, HNS will initiate all legal procedures and political steps for a new institutional and territorial organization of BiH based on the principles of federalism and consociational democracy, which will ensure full constitutional equality of all three constituent peoples in BiH.
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