bosnia report
No. 13 January - 1996
V. Election Provisions
by Signed in Paris on 14 December 1995

V. Election Provisions
(Annex 3)

Free, fair and democratic elections are to be held in BAH. The SCE is to supervise - but not conduct - elections for the legislatures of the Entities, the Presidency of the RS and the Presidency and HR of BH between 6 and 9 months after the signing of the Accords 21. 'If feasible', the OSCE is to also supervise local elections. BH citizens 18 years and older included in the 1991 RBH census are to be eligible to vote in the districts in which they were then resident. Refugees may vote in such districts directly or by absentee ballot, or may apply to vote elsewhere. Citizens not included in the 1991 census may participate subject to the determination of the 'Provisional Election Commission' (see below). The FBH and the RS are to ensure a 'politically neutral environment' for the elections, including conditions for freedom of the press, expression, association, movement and secrecy in voting. However, the Accords do not provide for enforcement of these provisions or sanctions against Entities if elections are not free, fair or secure.

To execute its duties, the OSCE is to establish a Provisional Election Commission. The Commission is to be chaired by the OSCE and include the High Representative, representative of the Parties (here, the RBH, FBH and RS) and others as determined by the OSCE. The OSCE is to have final authority over decisions. The Accords grant the Commission broad duties, such as establishing rules and regulations for the elections, monitoring the election process and 'ensuring compliance' with these rules and regulations and with the provisions of the Accords calling for conditions for free and fair - but not expÌÌÌÌÌÌÌ̸licitly secure - elections. The Accords do not provide mechanisms for the Commission to enforce such compliance.

While the OSCE is to certify whether elections would be effective under social conditions existing at the time of elections, it is not required to certify after the elections whether they were in fact free, fair and secure.

Some conditions regarding elections are discussed in the Accords :

  • Indicted war criminals are to be ineligible for elective office (see section below).
  • The Central constitution is to prohibit non-Serbs from representing the RS in the HP and the Presidency; only Croats and Bosniaks are to represent FBH in those bodies (see section above).

Marshall Freeman Harris & Stephen Walker
The Balkan Institute, Washinton · 22 December 1995


  1. The Accords do not call for an election to be held for the FBH Presidency which, under the terms of the FBH Constitution of 18 March 1994, is appointed by the FBH legislature.


   Table of contents

  Latest issue



  Support the Institute


home | about us | publications | events | news | Library | contact | bosnia | search | bosnia report | credits