Bosnia Calls Elections For October 2 Amid Concerns Over Lack of Electoral Reforms

The Central Election Commission (CEC) of Bosnia-Herzegovina has set October 2 for general elections, despite the failure of politicians to agree on electoral reforms and a 2022 budget that will provide funds for the vote.

The CEC said on May 4 that six of its seven members voted in favor of setting the October 2 date, where voters will choose Croat, Serb, and Bosniak members of the tripartite presidency; lawmakers in the parliament of the Bosniak and Croat federation, as well as the Serb-dominated entity Republika Srpska; and leaders for 10 cantons.

Croat nationalists have been seeking reforms to the electoral law to bolster their representation after complaining for years that they don't have their own entity in the country.

The prescribed Croat member of Bosnia's ethnically tripartite presidency has been elected in each of the past two polls on the strength of votes from the Bosniak majority, without the backing of the largest ethnic Croat party, the Bosnian Croat Democratic Union, or its leader, Dragan Covic.

Bosniaks have staunchly resisted calls for the formation of a Croat-majority district, prompting Covic and his party to abandon cooperation with their Bosniak counterparts in many forums.

Fears of a messy dissolution of Bosnia, which is still governed under the terms of a 1995 peace treaty known as the Dayton accords that divides the country into a Bosniak and Croat federation and a majority Serb entity, have intensified in recent months.

Bosnian Serbs have threatened secession, while Croats have said that they could boycott the elections if reforms to address their grievances aren't addressed.