Wednesday, May 7, 2008


BRCKO, Bosnia (May 7,2008) - The Brcko District Supervisor Raffi Gregorian issued yesterday a Supervisory Order amending the Statute of the Brcko District aimed at improving the effectiveness and functionality of the Brcko District Assembly, with special emphasis on encouraging inter-ethnic cooperation.

Through the same Order, the Supervisor also enacted new Rules of Procedure for the District Assembly as well as a new Election Law of Brcko District harmonized with the Statute and the recently amended Bosnian Election Law.

Yesterday’s measures update the legal framework for the Assembly from one originally designed for an appointed body to one appropriate for an elected body that will be able to function effectively after Supervision. As such they complement steps taken in February 2007 to improve the functionality of the government.

The amended Statute institutes a mechanism that prevents outvoting of a constituent people in the Assembly, establishes a more efficient system of voting in the Assembly, and provides for representation of national minorities by the addition of two seats to the Assembly.

In order to prevent outvoting of a constituent people in the Assembly, decisions on certain specified subjects will require an affirmative vote of at least one-third of Councilors from each constituent people present and voting. These subjects are listed in the Statute and include issues of religion, culture, education, language, budget, spatial planning, national holidays, and monuments.

To promote more efficient decision-making, from now on voting on many issues will be determined on the basis of Councilors present and voting, with only justified absences being able to delay decision-making on issues subject to outvoting protection. These provisions will serve to encourage Councilors to attend sessions while minimizing prospects for blockages of decision-making by non-attendance or improper use of abstentions.

The measures introduced today have been under consideration ever since the government reform measures were introduced last year. The Supervisor and his staff carefully analyzed and considered all possible options based upon their consultations with the Assembly Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Assembly Heads of Caucuses, as well as with the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor.

Since there was general consensus on the need for these actions, the Supervisor decided to act now in order to ensure a comprehensive solution would be in place by the time elections are officially announced on May 8, so that candidates would have absolute clarity about the roles and responsibilities they would have if elected to the Assembly in October. He also wanted to give as much time as possible for representatives of national minorities to organize themselves to run for the two new Assembly seats.

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