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Bosnian Serb Lawmakers Reject Measures Imposed by International Mediator

Bosnian Serb lawmakers have rejected new measures imposed by the top international mediator in Bosnia-Herzegovina aimed at streamlining voting procedures of Bosnia's central government.

The lawmakers called the measures by mediator Miroslav Lajcak violations of Bosnia's constitution and of the 1995 Dayton Peace accord that halted the Balkan conflict.

Lajcak wants to change the way a quorum is calculated by counting only lawmakers who attend meetings, rather than also including those absent. Previously, politicians who sought to block votes or decisions had done so by staying away from legislative sessions, depriving them of a quorum.

The international community has given the mediator wide powers to impose laws and dismiss officials to guarantee full compliance with the Dayton accord.

The Dayton accord divided Bosnia into a Muslim Croat Federation and a Serb Republic, each with its own police force.

In a related development, the top commander of European Union peacekeepers in Bosnia has expressed concern over growing instability in the western Balkans. German Rear Admiral Hans-Jochen Witthauer told a Bosnian newspaper Dnevni List international peacekeepers remain in the area to intervene quickly in the event of an outbreak of war.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.