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news 18 Jul 13

Bosnia Belatedly Adopts ID Number Law

Bosnia has adopted amendments to the law on national identification numbers, delays to which sparked a wave of street protests.

Beta, BIRN

The Bosnian parliament's House of Peoples on Thursday, under urgent procedure, adopted amendments to the law on the national identification numbers.

The new law sets up nine registration areas - five in the Federation entity of Bosnia and three in the other entity, Republika Srpska. The Brcko District is the ninth.

According to the bill, national ID numbers issued under previous regulations will not be subject to change.

The Council of Ministers, the Bosnia's state-level government, repeatedly failed to adopt the new law on personal numbers, which entitles every newborn citizen to a number.

The problem arose after Bosnia's Constitutional Court abolished the existing law on IDs in February 12, saying the names of several municipalities had to be changed first.

Bosnian Serb parliamentarians in the State Parliament had complained that the law also did not respect the boundary between the country’s two entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska.

The logjam sparked mass protests in June, when a baby was unable to leave the country for a life-saving operation in Germany due to lack of personal documents based on the lack of an ID number.

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