Annex 3: Agreement on Elections

Text of Dayton Peace Agreement documents initialed in Dayton, Ohio on November 21, 1995 and signed in Paris on December 14, 1995. The agreement is known as the Dayton Peace Accords. The following text was released by the Office of the Spokesman, December 1, 1995.

In order to promote free, fair, and democratic elections and to lay the foundation for representative government and ensure the progressive achievement of democratic goals throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, in accordance with relevant documents of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska ("the Parties") have agreed as follows:

Article I: Conditions for Democratic Elections

1. The Parties shall ensure that conditions exist for the organization of free and fair elections, in particular a politically neutral environment; shall protect and enforce the right to vote in secret without fear or intimidation; shall ensure freedom of expression and of the press; shall allow and encourage freedom of association (including of political parties); and shall ensure freedom of movement.

2. The Parties request the OSCE to certify whether elections can be effective under current social conditions in both Entities and, if necessary, to provide assistance to the Parties in creating these conditions.

3. The Parties shall comply fully with paragraphs 7 and 8 of the OSCE Copenhagen Document, which are attached to this Agreement.

Article II: The OSCE Role

1. OSCE. The Parties request the OSCE to adopt and put in place an elections program for Bosnia and Herzegovina as set forth in this Agreement.

2. Elections. The Parties request the OSCE to supervise, in a manner to be determined by the OSCE and in cooperation with other international organizations the OSCE deems necessary, the preparation and conduct of elections for the House of Representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina; for the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina; for the House of Representatives of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina; for the National Assembly of the Republika Srpska; for the Presidency of the Republika Srpska; and, if feasible, for cantonal legislatures and municipal governing authorities.

3. The Commission. To this end, the Parties request the OSCE to establish a Provisional Election Commission ("the Commission").

4. Timing. Elections shall take place on a date ("Election Day") six months after entry into force of this Agreement or, if the OSCE determines a delay necessary, no later than nine months after entry into force.

Article III: The Provisional Election Commission

1. Rules and Regulations. The Commission shall adopt electoral rules and regulations regarding: the registration of political parties and independent candidates; the eligibility of candidates and voters; the role of domestic and international election observers; the ensuring of an open and fair electoral campaign; and the establishment, publication, and certification of definitive election results. The Parties shall comply fully with the electoral rules and regulations, any internal laws and regulations notwithstanding.

2. Mandate of the Commission. The responsibilities of the Commission, as provided in the electoral rules and regulations, shall include:

3. Composition and Functioning of the Commission. The Commission shall consist of the Head of the OSCE Mission, the High Representative or his or her designee, representatives of the Parties, and such other persons as the Head of the OSCE Mission, in consultation with the Parties, may decide. The Head of the OSCE Mission shall act as Chairman of the Commission. In the event of disputes within the Commission, the decision of the Chairman shall be final.

4. Privileges and Immunities. The Chairman and Commission shall enjoy the right to establish communications facilities and to engage local and administrative staff, and the status, privileges and immunities accorded to a diplomatic agent and mission under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

Article IV: Eligibility

1. Voters. Any citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina aged 18 or older whose name appears on the 1991 census for Bosnia and Herzegovina shall be eligible, in accordance with electoral rules and regulations, to vote. A citizen who no longer lives in the municipality in which he or she resided in 1991 shall, as a general rule, be expected to vote, in person or by absentee ballot, in that municipality, provided that the person is determined to have been registered in that municipality as confirmed by the local election commission and the Provisional Election Commission. Such a citizen may, however, apply to the Commission to cast his or her ballot elsewhere. The exercise of a refugee's right to vote shall be interpreted as confirmation of his or her intention to return to Bosnia and Herzegovina. By Election Day, the return of refugees should already be underway, thus allowing many to participate in person in elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Commission may provide in the electoral rules and regulations for citizens not listed in the 1991 census to vote.

Article V: Permanent Election Commission

The Parties agree to create a permanent Election Commission with responsibilities to conduct future elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Article VI: Entry into Force

This Agreement shall enter into force upon signature.

For the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina

For the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

For the Republika Srpska



Document of the Second Meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, Copenhagen, 1990.

Paragraphs 7 and 8:

(7) To ensure that the will of the people serves as the basis of the authority of govermnent, the participating States will