Hundreds protest Bosnia's High Representative in Sarajevo

Demonstrators demand Christian Schmidt resign, respect country’s territorial integrity, democracy

13:43 . 1/04/2023 Saturday
File photo

File photo

Hundreds of demonstrators protested the High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Christian Schmidt, on Friday and demanded officials respect the county’s independence, territorial integrity and democracy and human rights.

Protesters gathered in front of the Office of High Representative (OHR) in the nation’s capital of Sarajevo under the slogan: ''Stop the disintegration of the state.''

The angry crowd chanted for Schmidt to resign and go back to his native country of Germany.

- High representative's controversial laws

Schmidt announced on the night of the general elections on Oct. 2, he had enacted a controversial electoral law reform, using the "Bonn powers."

After polls closed in the presidential and parliamentary election, Schmidt claimed he signed two decisions for the functionality and timely implementation of election results in a document he called the "functionality package" and said they were related to the government and coalition building processes.

The decision received strong criticism from politicians and citizens.

It was the third time Schmidt used the so-called "Bonn powers" after assuming office in August 2021.

The first was to annul a law on immovable property in Republika Srpska, the Serb-dominated entity.

The second was to finance the Oct. 2 general elections, allocating €6.5 million ($6.97 million) for the Central Election Commission.

The OHR was established in the Dayton Peace Agreement that ended the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia Herzegovina.

The office oversees the implementation of the peace agreement on behalf of the international community.

The high representative also coordinates the activities of international institutions operating in the country.

That person has the authority to dismiss anyone who interferes with the implementation of peace in the country, including members of the Presidential Council, and to pass laws as necessary.

The powers are dubbed "Bonn powers."

The extraordinary powers of the Peace Implementation Council were entrusted to the OHR in 1997 during a meeting in Germany dubbed the Bonn powers.

#Bosnia and Herzegovina
#High Representative
#Christian Schmidt
2 months ago