Time is running for Bosnia to reform constitution

Time is running out for Bosnia to agree on changes to the constitution meeting objections from the European Court of Human Rights.

A November 30 deadline is fast approaching for Bosnia and Herzegovina to implement a 2009 European Court of Human Rights decision on eligibility for high office.

But the country’s dominant parties seem no closer than before to agreeing a set of viable constitutional amendments

The deadline refers to the December 2009 “Sejdic-Vinci” verdict by the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled that Bosnia’s constitution violates international law because it bars ethnic minorities from running for major state posts.

An “ad hoc” parliamentary commission was then set up to draw up a set of proposed amendments for the State Parliament to vote on by the end of this month.

The commission met for its penultimate meeting last Wednesday but failed to draft a full set of amendments.

Failure to implement the decision almost exactly two years after it was handed down may have implications for Bosnia’s membership of the Council of Europe.

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