Alliance East Antrim MLA, Stewart Dickson, who is the Rapporteur on Local and Regional Elections in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Vice President of the Monitoring Committee for Council of Europe, led the Council of Europe Delegation in the country last week (25-27 May). Mr Dickson is an expert in monitoring elections and has extensive experience in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Mr Dickson said: “I have travelled to the city of Mostar to hold talks to re-establish local government and elections. Mostar is a city, similar to Northern Ireland, where a divided community is seeking to build a shared future with a fair and open democratic system.
“I was deeply honoured to be chosen to lead the Delegation in these talks. My experience in election monitoring and working in Northern Ireland politics helped me to further assist democratic elections in Mostar.
“I have been encouraged by the engagement of high-level figures in the Bosnia & Herzegovina Government and the United Nations. It is a sign of the seriousness in achieving a resolution to the democratic issues in Mostar once and for all.
“Among others, I had meetings with the President of Bosnia & Herzegovina and the Speaker of the Parliament.”
Mr Dickson concluded: “I am hopeful that these talks will be productive. And that I can use my experiences in Northern Ireland to both avoid problems and find solutions.”
2,000 people died in Mostar during the Bosnian War.