According to Vehid Sehic, vice-president of the Election Commission of Bosnia-Hercegovina, all together, in all ten cantonal parliaments, according to election results, there are only nine Serb representatives.
“The basic principle of distribution of seats in the Chamber of Nations among cantons is the population census from 1991. However, we shall allow ‘spilling over’ of representatives from one canton to another. Thus, for example, Livno canton is supposed to delegate one Serb representative. However, since three Serb representatives were elected to the parliament of this canton, all three of them will be delegated to the Federation BH Chamber of Nations,” Sehic said.
However, even with such combinations, the Chamber of Nations will have only nine Serb representatives.
“That is enough to form a club of representatives, because nine representatives is more than a half of 17 Serb representatives that are supposed to be in the Chamber of Nations. We are currently discussing what we shall do if some of them are elected to the executive authorities, because in that case there will not be enough Serb representatives for the club of Serb representatives,” Sehic added.
However, this is not the only problem. The Election Commission apparently does not even want to consider what would happen if one of the Serb representatives delegated to the Federation BH Chamber of Nations were in turn delegated to the Chamber of Nations in the Parliament of Bosnia-Hercegovina. Namely, after the recent constitutional changes, the Chamber of Nations in the Bosnian parliament is supposed to have 15 representatives, as before, five Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats each, with the difference that one Bosniak and Croat will be delegated from the Republic of Srpska, and two Serbs from the Federation BH.
Sehic identifies delegation of Serb candidates who ran in the recent elections for the cantonal parliaments but failed to win seats as the only logical solution for the filling up of places in the Federation BH Chamber of Nations. In that it should not be taken into account from which canton they come or to which party they belong. Some candidates received a significant number of votes, but that was nevertheless insufficient to win seats in cantonal parliaments. According to Sehic’s idea, these candidates would not be considered for members of cantonal parliaments who delegate them to the Federation BH Chamber of Nations.
“The problem is that the Federation BH does not envisage such a solution. Therefore, if we were to follow the law, we should first change the Federation BH constitution. However, the constitution can only be amended by the Federation BH Parliament which cannot be fully constituted because of the mentioned constitutional limitations. Consequently, we shall seek an interpretation from the OHR. More specifically, the High Representative can use his authority and issue a decree that would allow that Federation BH Parliament convene, so that it can change the constitution,” Sehic emphasized.