High Rep Integrity Package Imposition

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1/ After months of hesitation on an announced imposition of a so-called integrity package, @OHR_BiH Schmidt yesterday finally decided to amend Bosnia and Herzegovina’s election law.

2/ Contrary to @ExtSpoxEU’s accusations, Schmidt neither misused his mandate nor undercut “local ownership,” quite the opposite – he only acted …

3/ … after ruling parties over the last few months demonstrated their rejection of integrity reforms, as manifested by the HDZ BiH’s recent proposal for anti-integrity election law amendments, or the SNSD’s secession threats should the package be adopted.

4/ Unlike the mostly substance-free formal reforms (conflict of interest law, HJPC law amendment) that brought #BiH the green light for opening EU accession talks, @OHR_BiH’s extensive amendments demonstrate what real reform for democratic practice can look like.

5/ The amendment provisions address almost all of the core neuralgic entry points for the traditionally widespread election fraud in #BiH, thus making HDZ BiH and SNSD justifiably nervous: professionalization/depoliticization of the polling station committee presidents; …

6/ … beginning of the introduction of electronic voter identification and ballot counting technology; more transparency in the voter registry; expansion of the ban of convicted war criminals to run for office, etc.

7/ However, by introducing a provision limiting the membership in the Central Election Commission (CEC) by retirement age, while leaving unchanged the procedure for selection and election of the CEC members – already demonstrated to be ripe for political capture – Schmidt…

8/ … has thrown the ruling coalition a lifeline to seize control of the CEC and to undercut or neutralize most of the other, positive elements of his decision before the next general elections in 2026.