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Bosnia Herzegovina Rejects Reform

Proposed constitutional reforms were voted down by the lower house of parliament in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The reforms were aimed at modernizing institutions and accelerating Bosnia-Herzegovina's integration with the Euro-Atlantic community. The reforms needed to be adopted by the end of April to take effect for the national elections in October 2006.

The 1995 U.S.-brokered Dayton Accords ended the Bosnian war, but left the country with a fractious and inefficient governing structure that is incompatible with European Union and NATO standards.

Dr. Christian Schwarz-Schilling is the High Representative for Bosnia-Herzegovina. He said the result of the voting "sends a negative message to Europe, the United States and the entire international community". And he characterized the rejection of the amendments as “a loss for Bosnia-Herzegovina."

In a written statement, the U.S. State Department says the delegates "who voted against these amendments fought for the status quo that maintains inefficiency and ethnic separation." The statement says the United States "will continue to stand with the overwhelming majority of Bosnian citizens who favor moving forward towards fully functional state and government structures."

The United States, says the State Department, "will continue to encourage Bosnia and Herzegovina to make the reforms necessary to realize its goal of full Euro-Atlantic integration."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.