Bosnia and Herzegovina's Constitutional Court on Thursday partly upheld an application for assessment of the constitutionality of electoral legislation, which the applicant Bozo Ljubic, chairman of the main committee of the Croat People's Assembly (HNS), said was discriminating against Croats.
Ljubic asked the court to assess, among other things, whether provisions governing appointments to the upper chamber of the parliament of the Bosniak-Croat Federation entity were constitutional.
Ljubic argued that Croat-majority cantons cannot choose as many Croat deputies as would reflect the actual electorate. He said that in practice this means that a party that enjoys the majority support among the Croats cannot be proportionately represented in the House of Peoples, as a result of which the seats of Croat deputies are filled by other political parties.
The court found that some of the provisions indeed imply that "the right to democratic decision making solely by legitimate political representation will not be based on the democratic election of deputies to the House of Peoples of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina of the constituent people that they represent, which is contrary to the principle of constitutionality and equality of any of the constituent peoples."
The court ordered the parliament to align the provisions of electoral legislation with the Constitution within the next six months.
"This is a positive encouragement to start the process of amending electoral legislation," Ljubic told the FTV television channel in a comment on the court ruling.