Following elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Special Representative Link urges follow-through on implementing OSCE recommendations

061022 MGL photoMichael Georg LinkCOPENHAGEN, 6 October 2022 – The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Special Representative on South East Europe, Vice-President Michael Georg Link (Germany), said today that authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina should follow through with reforms based on the preliminary findings and conclusions of the international election observation mission that concluded its work earlier this week. The OSCE PA participated in this joint endeavour with partners from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, and the European Parliament.

Special Representative Link stressed the importance of elections being conducted in line with OSCE commitments and called on political actors to ensure that the opportunity for reform is taken to ensure that Bosnia and Herzegovina continues to pursue its European path. In particular, he pointed out that the post-election statement notes that universal and equal suffrage is still not guaranteed and that failed negotiations among political parties have left the electoral legal framework without needed reforms.

“As stated by the international observers, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s elections took place against the backdrop of ongoing political deadlock and widespread disillusionment with the political establishment,” Link said today. “To regain trust in public institutions and overcome divisions in the country, it is important that authorities seize the opportunity for reform. The preliminary findings and conclusions offered by the international election observation mission provide a good starting point.”

He noted that the final report issued by the OSCE/ODIHR is expected in several weeks, which will contain more detailed recommendations. He also recalled that in the 1999 OSCE Istanbul Document, all OSCE States “agree[d] to follow up promptly the ODIHR’s election assessment and recommendations.”

Link reiterated the positive aspects of the international observers’ preliminary assessment, which noted that the 2 October general elections were competitive and well organized overall with fundamental freedoms respected during the campaign. However, he regretted that failed reform efforts, a widespread mistrust in public institutions, and ethnically divisive rhetoric continued to mark the election environment.

“The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina have performed their civic duty and now it is time for the country’s democratic institutions to follow through on their responsibilities,” Link said. “While the BiH legal framework forms an adequate basis for holding democratic elections and recently introduced amendments strengthened some aspects of the electoral process, there is much work that remains to be done to ensure continued democratic progress and further European integration.”

Link stressed that the OSCE PA stands ready to work constructively with the authorities of BiH in this regard.

The OSCE PA’s delegation of observers in BiH was led by OSCE PA Vice-President Irene Charalambides (Cyprus). OSCE PA Vice-President Pascal Allizard (France) served as Special Co-ordinator and leader of the OSCE short-term observers.

To read the full statement of preliminary findings and conclusions on the 2 October general elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, please click here.

For more on the work of the Special Representative on South East Europe, please click here.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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