SP Senator Kox to lead election observers in divided Bosnia

12 September 2014

SP Senator Kox to lead election observers in divided Bosnia

The Council of Europe, responding to a request from the Bosnian Parliament, will send a mission to the elections on 12th October with the purpose of observing and assessing their conduct. The mission will be arriving in a country divided by ethnic conflicts and social differences and one in which extensive damage was caused by recent flooding. The observers’ team will be led by SP Senator Tiny Kox.

In the runup to October’s elections Kox will next week hold talks in Sarajevo and Banja Luka with political parties, national and international experts, representatives of the media and NGOs.

Bosnia has an extremely complicated and controversial electoral system. On 12th October, the inhabitants of the country, which since the end of the civil war in 1995 has been an international protectorate, will elect a national parliament, two sectional parliaments, a three-person presidency and a separate president for the Serbian section of the country. If the elections go well, the formation of a national government and two sectional governments will remain a complex task, one which might require several months to complete.

Tiny Kox is not inexperienced when it comes to such matters. Four years ago he was tasked with leading the observers’ mission in Bosnia, whose attempts to join the European Union have to date been unsuccessful, partly because of the controversial electoral system, which gives fewer rights to inhabitants who do not count themselves as belonging to one of the three official groups – Serbs, Croats and Bosnians. Attempts to solve that problem, despite support from the Council of Europe, have not thus far been successful.

Kox will be in Bosnia from 17th to 20th September and will return there on 9th October at the head of a thirty-strong team of parliamentarians selected from the forty-eight member states of the Council of Europe.

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