Bosnia referendum.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ TANJUG/ Tanja VALIČ/ ik

European Union (EU) foreign ministers, meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, expressed regret over the unlawful referendum in the Serb entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina and called for an investigation into irregularities in recent state-wide local elections.  

The  Council reiterates its unequivocal commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU perspective as a single, united and sovereign country. In this context the Council welcomes the progress achieved in Bosnia and Herzegovina's EU integration process.

"This referendum caused unnecessary tensions and challenged the rule of law. The Council encourages the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina to resolve this issue through the established legal processes, constructive dialogue and the existing constitutional framework," the Council said in its conclusions on Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The conclusions further noted that the October 2 local elections were conducted in an orderly manner and that authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina "should investigate the few irregularities and isolated violent incidents."

Most attention was drawn to an incident in Stolac which led to 27 people being arrested by cantonal police after Democratic Action Party (SDA) member Salmir Kaplan physically attacked members of the local electoral committee. Several activists then removed official election documents and the voting in that constituency was  interrupted.

The Council called on Bosnia and Herzegovina to continue focusing on its EU integration and reform programme, and welcomed the continued presence of Operation Althea in the country.

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