The European Commission says in its key findings of the 2016 Report on Bosnia and Herzegovina that a Constitutional Court decision needs to be implemented as a matter of priority so that citizens of Mostar can exercise their democratic right to vote, as an election has not been held there since 2008.
In November 2010, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina ruled that the provisions of the Electoral Law were unconstitutional with regard to the City of Mostar. Since then Croat and Bosniak representatives have not managed to agree on election rules that would be in accordance with the constitution. The Constitutional Court's decision invalidated the city statute and electoral rules for the city council, which had been imposed by former High Representative Paddy Ashdown and according to which a Bosniak vote carried four times more weight than a Croat vote.
"Despite renewed efforts, an agreement on implementing the 2010 Constitutional Court’s decision on elections in Mostar has yet to be reached, and after 6 years the citizens of Mostar still cannot exercise their democratic rights. The Constitutional Court decision needs to be implemented as a matter of priority," the EC said in its report.
The Commission also calls on Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities to investigate incidents that took place during the October election in some municipalities. The report does not mention Stolac directly, but it does say that the polling stations in one municipality had to be closed and temporarily closed in several other municipalities.
The report further notes that the constitution remains in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights with reference to the Sejdic-Finci case and that a number of Constitutional Court rulings remain unenforced.
In February this year, Bosnia and Herzegovina submitted its application for membership to the European Union. The Council of the EU in September tasked the European Commission to launch proceedings to prepare an opinion on the application, which is the first step in the procedure to approve candidate status.