Convening at their regular meeting, the Ambassadors of the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council once again discussed the situation in the Federation and expressed their dissatisfaction that the key institutions of the Federation have failed to take the necessary action to fill the vacancies on the Federation Constitutional Court and the Vital National Interest Panel to ensure their proper functioning.
As the PIC Steering Board stated in its Communiqué of 30 November 2012, “A constructive approach by all parties is essential. To ensure the FBiH Constitutional Court’s capacity to fulfil its constitutional role in this regard the PIC Steering Board urged the relevant authorities to fill the Court’s vacancies without further delay.”
The pressing obligation of the competent domestic institutions to fill the vacancies on the Federation Constitutional Court and the Vital National Interest Panel to ensure their proper functioning will not go away. Time is of the essence. Authorities must stop expecting the International Community to do their job for them and instead explain how they intend to move forward and finally appoint the missing judges.
The Steering Board Ambassadors welcomed the intention of the High Representative to call a meeting of the President and two Vice-Presidents with the Collegium of the Federation House of Peoples to hear directly from them how they intend to resolve this issue. The Steering Board Ambassadors expressed their expectation that all officials will participate constructively in the meeting and that their respective political parties use the intervening period to talk to each other and to develop solutions that will enable the missing judges to be appointed.
In regard to the wider political situation in the Federation, the PIC Steering Board noted that neither group of parties in the Federation is without blame for the current situation and warned all those involved that they must refrain from taking any further steps that could destabilize the situation. Such action is completely unacceptable.
Until the deadlock in the Federation is resolved, both the Government and the Parliament must respect their respective constitutional roles. Parties must work together to ensure the functionality of both institutions in a way that is unambiguously consistent with the rule of law, even if it means that more far-reaching initiatives cannot be undertaken right away. Ensuring the functioning of institutions is not a choice, it is an obligation. It is time for the political parties involved to put the interests of the Federation and its citizens first. This also includes acting responsibly to adopt IMF-compliant privileged pension legislation so that much needed international financing can reach the authorities.