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Bosnia Mediator Disappointed Over Defeat of Constitutional Amendments


The chief international mediator in Bosnia-Herzegovina has expressed disappointment over the defeat of needed constitutional changes.

High Representative Christian Schwarz-Schilling said Thursday the outcome sends a negative signal to Europe, the United States and the international community.

Lawmakers voted Wednesday against the proposals to streamline the political system and strengthen the central government.

They said the changes did not go far enough to end Bosnia's racial divide.

But Schwarz-Schilling says the proposed amendments remain necessary to start the process of governance in the country.

He said those who brought the package to failure must reflect on the consequences of their actions.

Meanwhile, U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia Douglas McElhaney expressed what he called profound disappointment at the results of the vote.

The international community had pushed for the reforms as necessary if Bosnia is to get ready to join the European Union.

The changes would have replaced Bosnia's three-man collective presidency with a single president and expand the powers of the central government.

The 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in the Balkans split Bosnia-Herzegovina into a Serb Republic and a Muslim-Croat Federation.

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