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BOSNIA: LAW TAYING CANDIDACY TO ETHNICITY IS CONTESTED
A Bosnian Jew and an ethnic Roma have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights to overturn laws that prevent ethnic minorities from running for president. Under the Dayton peace agreement that ended the Bosnian war in 1995, only Bosnian Serbs, Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats may run for the office. Minorities and those from ethnically mixed marriages also do not have the right to run for the upper house of Parliament. Jakob Finci, head of the Jewish community and Bosnia’s ambassador to Switzerland, and Dervo Sejdic, a member of the Roma Council of Bosnia, say the Constitution violates the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as other international laws. “I think it’s high time to step away from ethnic patterns that were necessary to stop the war,” Mr. Finci said. “It’s time for Bosnia to enter its European phase.” The court is expected to issue its ruling in September.