OSCE bans elected officials from running public companies

SARAJEVO, Feb 22, 2000 -- (AFP) A widespread practice in post-war Bosnia by which elected officials also hold seats on public companies' managing boards will be halted by a new rule aimed at separating politics and business, the election commission announced here Monday.

The commission, run by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), adopted a rule preventing elected officials from being directors or members of steering, executive or supervisory boards of a company in which more that 25 percent is owned by the government, the statement said.

"This rule will be an important tool in the fight against corruption, discrimination and political patronage, which have so badly damaged the fabric of political life in Bosnia in recent years", Robert Barry, head of the OSCE mission in Bosnia, said in the statement.

The rule will be implemented in local elections on April 8.

Elected municipal officials found in violation of the rule will be asked to step down from one position or the other, the statement said.

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