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Bosnia and Herzegovina: Council of Europe's Congress examines the situation in Mostar

33rd Session Strasbourg, France 19 October 2017
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Bosnia and Herzegovina: Council of Europe's Congress examines the situation in Mostar

The Chamber of Local Authorities of the Congress organised a round table on the situation in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the light of an information report presented by Congress rapporteur Stewart DICKSON (United Kingdom, ILDG), on 19 October 2017. Several experts spoke during the debate, including Alex JEFFREY, Reader in Human Geography, University of Cambridge (United Kingdom), Vladimir CORIC, Executive Director of the Youth Cultural Centre Abrašević of Mostar, Dzenana DEDIC, Delegate at the Local Democracy Agency in Mostar, and Vernes VOLODER, Project Manager at the Nansen Dialogue Centre, Mostar.

According to the report, a Congress delegation organised a mission on 25 and 26 May 2017 in the framework of its post-electoral dialogue with the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its mechanism to assess local and regional democracy. The mission was intended to follow up on Congress Recommendation 399 (2017) on the observation of the 2 October 2016 local elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as on the post-electoral conference organised by the Council of Europe in February 2017 in Sarajevo. The mission also focused on the situation in the City of Mostar, where no elections have been held since 2008.

"Within the family of Council of Europe member States – which considers the right to regularly elect representatives in free and fair elections a fundamental human right – how can some 100 000 electors be left without a voice for such a long time?", asked Stewart DICKSON in conclusion to his presentation.

While aware of the complexity of the situation, the Congress urges authorities at all levels to work on a sustainable solution to restore local democracy in the City of Mostar, by amending the legislation, especially the Law on elections and the Statute of the City.

The Congress will continue to closely monitor the situation, in close cooperation with the Committee of the Regions of the European Union, and is committed to keeping the issue of local democracy in the City of Mostar on its political agenda until a suitable solution is found.

Information report CPL33(2017)09

Background paper

File 33rd Session

Video of the debate: English - French - Original

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