Bosnian leaders call on parl't for revising constitution

Efforts to change the constitution accepted in the Dayton peace treaty that ended the Bosnia's 1992-95 civil war have been in the works for two years.

Bosnian leaders call on parl't for revising constitution

Leaders of Bosnia's biggest Muslim, Croat and Serb parties called on Monday for parliament to begin revising the constitution, a key condition for joining the European Union.

Efforts to change the constitution accepted in the Dayton peace treaty that ended the Bosnia's 1992-95 civil war have been in the works for two years.

But, inter-ethnic squabbling has hampered progress to reform the charter to take away power from Bosnia's two autonomous entities, Muslim-Croat federation and the Serb Republic.

"We have decided to ask the central parliament to start the procedure for constitutional reform," said Sulejman Tihic, the head of the main Muslim Party of Democratic Action (SDA) after meeting with his Serb and Croat counterparts.

Tihic said the reform should allow for "more functional central institutions and the territorial organisation of the central and lower levels of government." He did not elaborate.

Officials say revising the constitution is likely to be a lengthy process.

The EU wants the Balkan country to strengthen its central state before it can join the 27-member bloc. A key EU accession condition, the reform of the state police, cannot be fully implemented until constitutional changes have been agreed.

Bosnia's main political parties reached a compromise deal last April to reform the separate police forces that have been run by the two regions since the war ended.

However, state control over the police agencies will enter into force only one year after Bosnia agrees to change the constitution.

Bosnia signed a pact with the EU in June that was the first step towards eventual membership of the bloc, nearly 13 years after the end of the war.

Reuters
Last Mod: 23 Aralık 2008, 09:16
Add Comment