Irma Baralija: Restoring democracy to Mostar

Following the historic ruling by the European Court of Human Rights to restore the democratic rights of the citizens of Mostar (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Irma Baralija, vice-President of Bosnian liberal party Naša Stranka, was in Brussels on our invitation, speaking to our group, to raise awareness and seek support for her fight.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) condemned Bosnia-Herzegovina on October 29, 2019 for its failure to hold municipal elections in the ethnically divided city of Mostar (population of 106,000 people with 48.8 percent ethnic Croat and 44.2 percent Muslim Bosniak) for more than a decade. The suit was filed by Irma Baralija, a local politician from Mostar, who has been fighting this breach of rule of law and democracy preventing her to vote or run in a municipal election.

Irma Baralija:

We haven’t had elections in Mostar for 11 years now. According to the Court ruling, the State Parliament of Bosnia has 6 months to react to find a solution to address this situation. Hopefully, together with the EU, we will make the government correct this injustice.

Ms. Baralija addressed local and regional politicians and several key EU stakeholders on this case during her visit to Brussels. It was part of a broader discussion arranged by our group, focusing on the state of democracy in Europe, coinciding with the recent launch of International IDEA’s State of Democracy Report 2019.

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