Bosnia Entity Names Candidates For Court Vacancies

Candidates have been named for the vacancies in the Federation entity’s Constitutional Court, which must be filled before it can rule on last week’s no-confidence vote in the government.Zivko Budimir, President of Bosnia’s Federation entity, and his two deputies, on February 20 agreed the names of three candidates to fill vacant seats in the entity’s constitutional court.

The court is tasked with deciding on the validity of a recent no-confidence vote in the government, which Bosniaks [Muslims] are contesting on a constitutional point of order.

Dragica Dragicevic, Sahbaz Dzihanovic and Mladen Srdic are the three nominees for the posts whose names will be sent to the entity parliament for confirmation.

The court must become complete before it can rule on parliament’s request last Friday concerning whether a recent no-confidence vote endangered the “vital ethnic interests” of the Bosniak community.

There are currently only six judges out of the nine needed. Disputes over naming the three others have continued since 2008.

The Bosniak caucus in the House of Peoples, one of two chambers of the Federation parliament, on February 15 blocked confirmation of the no-confidence vote, saying their community’s vital ethnic interests were at risk.

The vote followed an earlier no-confidence vote in the government in the other chamber of the Federation entity parliament.

Since 12 of the 17 Bosniak MPs voted against the proposal, the issue has been sent to the Constitutional Court, which cannot decide on it while being incomplete.

The latest events occurred after the new majority in the entity parliament decided to remove all ministers from parties that were no longer in the ruling coalition.

The new majority in the Federation entity is led by Social Democratic Party, SDP, the Alliance for a Better Future, SBB, the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ BiH, and its sister party, HDZ 1990.

They are seeking to dismiss eight ministers from the [Bosniak] Party of Democratic Action, SDA, the Croatian Party of Rights, HSP, and the People’s Party Work for Progress, NSRZB.

Budimir has refused to dismiss them, possibly because he belongs to one of the parties whose ministers face the axe. The new coalition then decided to adopt a vote of no-confidence in the entity government.

But, since the SDA holds the majority of seats in the Bosniak caucus, it invoked the legal instrument of saying its “vital ethnic interests” were endangered.

The same situation occurred when the SDA was expelled from Bosnia’s state-level government.

When the party pulled the same legal instrument, the country’s constitutional court ruled in August that their vital ethnic interest were not, in fact, endangered since Bosniaks were to replace Bosniaks in ministries.

In a sign that Brussels is losing patience with the dispute, the deputy head of the EU Delegation to Bosnia, Renzo Daviddi, on Wednesday urged Budimir, his vice-presidents and all political parties to ensure that the Federation obtained a functional government as soon as possible.

He added that he also expected Budimir not to obstruct democratic processes and misuse constitutional mechanisms.

Check Also

Can Turkey help in Ukraine crisis?

Moscow is likely to welcome a Turkish mediation effort if it serves to restrain Ukraine …