President of the HDZ BiH Dragan Čović has sent a letter to international representatives and officials expressing his concern over developments related to the local elections in Mostar.
“The local elections in the City of Mostar were held on December 20 and were welcomed as a long-awaited and much-needed. I believe we share mutual concerns over the fact that even a month after the polls closed, the election results are still unknown!
Instead of the results, which we should have had immediately after the election, they are still being manipulated and speculated in various ways, which is unacceptable! The sequence of irregularities I have pointed out in previous correspondence, of which you yourself are aware, has brought great uncertainty to the fate of the entire election process. That is why I warned international partners of the need for strict monitoring of the electoral process, all in order to protect the integrity of local elections and restore the democratic process in this city,” Čović wrote in the letter.
He added that the most responsible stakeholder in preserving the integrity of the electoral process are the Central Election Commission (CEC) and the Election Commission of the City of Mostar, and that is why he has demanded the irrevocable resignation of all its compromised members since only through the restored dignity and authority of that institution can the deeply damaged trust of citizens in the institute of democratic elections be restored.
“Of course, given the serious situation, resignations cannot be enough. The competent authorities are involved in the whole story, with plenty of evidence, with the aim of prosecuting and accurately determining responsibility within institutions, but also participants outside it,” writes the HNS president in the letter.
Čović states that it is completely clear that the way in which the Central Election Commission was elected, in addition to the law and prescribed procedures, was already a kind of prelude to the devastation of the election process, “which we are unfortunately witnessing today.”
“That is why the Croat representatives have demanded the annulment or repetition of the election process in urban areas where fictitious registration of inhabitants have appeared. It is estimated that the political party I lead and its mayoral candidate have been victims of undeniable electoral fraud.
The analytics has confirmed this, as well as our pre-election research, as we in the Croat Democratic Union of BiH precisely envisaged 14 or 15 seats in the City Council,” reads the letter to international officials.
In the letter, Čović also reminds how the deadline for the realization of the entire Mostar agreement expired a month ago.
The letter was sent to the leadership of the EU Delegation to BiH Johann Sattler, the US Ambassador to BiH Eric Nelson, High Representative to BiH Valentin Inzko, Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH Kathleen Kavalec, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Olivér Várhelyi, European Parliament Rapporteur for Bosnia and Herzegovina Paul Rangel, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) David McAllister, Chairman of the Delegation for Relations with BiH and Kosovo Romeo Franz, President of the European People’s Party (EPP) Donald Tusk, and Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber.