OHR’s Statement at the International Agencies’ Joint Press Conference in Banja Luka

Parliament Approval of Ministerial
Nominees Requires Responsibility from BiH’s

Amendments to the Law on the Council of
Ministers, adopted by BiH Parliament on Wednesday, will
transfer responsibility for vetting Ministers and their Deputies from the
OHR to the BiH institutions.
The amendments testify to the
continuing systematic transfer of responsibilities from the OHR to the
appropriate institutions in BiH.

This is a welcome move which
should enhance the relationship between Government and Parliament,
will help ensure that candidates for high public office meet basic
requirements in terms of electoral eligibility and personal integrity and
make Executive appointments much more transparent.

The amendments mean that after the
elections, the nominating authorities – the Presidency in the case of the Chair
of the Council of Ministers and the Chair of the CoM in the case of the
Ministers will now need to obtain information on candidates’ academic
qualifications, employment history, criminal record  (if any), wartime
activities and personal finances and submit such information to the State
Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) which will verify the information

Information on the electoral eligibility
of nominees will also need to be submitted to the Central Election Commission in
order to confirm whether a nominee meets the eligibility requirements prescribed
by the Election Law.

The amendments also provide for the
creation of a Committee on Preparation for Election of the Council of
Ministers of the House of Representatives – a Parliamentary Committee within the
BiH Parliamentary Assembly, which would include one representative from each of
the caucuses in the BiH Parliament.

Based on all information provided, the
Parliamentary Committee will then decide whether to recommend to the BiH House
of Representatives to approve the nominations of candidates for the Chair of the
Council of Ministers, Ministers and Deputy Ministers.

The OHR has supported this development as
a further step in BiH’s institutions taking responsibility for running this
country. Only by becoming fully sovereign can this country move towards the

This latest transfer of
competencies means that Parliamentarians must demonstrate greater
competence and responsibility.

These amendments aim to make the
appointment process as open and transparent as possible and through this
transparency prevent unsuitable candidates, who would clearly not have the
support of the public, from being nominated in the first place.

We are confident that SIPA and the
Central Election Commission will be fully prepared by the announcement of the
election results to carry out several aspects of this technical process. 


Opinion poll published in Fokus not

And just one more information
from OHR today. The research published yesterday in Fokus was not OHR’s. The OHR
at times carries out opinion polls, however, we haven’t carried out any opinion
polls for the past two months. In our earlier polls we did not find the results
that Fokus published.