By Elvira Jukic
Bosnian lawmakers overwhelmingly confirmed the appointments of nine new ministers on February 10, having already appointed Vjekoslav Bevanda as Prime Minister a month ago.
The new government was supported 26 votes, while seven MPs voted against and one abstained.
All the new ministers and their deputies submitted formal statements to the State Parliament and then received congratulations from the assembled MPs.
Opposition parties said they were disappointed that not one member of the new cabinet is a woman though there are a few women deputy ministers.
As the head of the new government, the Council of Ministers, Bevanda wasted no time in holding his first consultative meeting with the new ministers and deputies after the parliamentary session ended.
Top priorities for the new government are solving a problem concerning the legal validity of the state budget and then dealing with Bosnia’s obligations to the European Union.
“Today we ended a process and I am satisfied with the composition of the government,” Bevanda said on Friday in Sarajevo.
Nikola Spiric, the former Prime Minister who is now the new Finance minister, said he would sort out the muddle over the state budget by Monday.
As the result of a glitch in the process of submitting the budget to parliament, it has not been ratified and in consequence no state officials received salaries for January.
The leaders of Bosnia’s six main parties finally agreed on the formation of a new government on December 28, breaking the political deadlock that had gripped the country since the October 2010 election.
The posts in the new Council of Ministers are as follows:
1. The Prime Minister, or President of Council of Ministers, Vjekoslav Bevanda
2. Foreign Minister, Zlatko Lagumdzija
3. Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, Mirko Sarovic
4. Finance and Treasury, Nikola Spiric
5. Security, Sadik Ahmetovic
6. Judiciary, Barisa Colak
7. Civil Affairs, Sredoje Novic
8. Human Rights and Refugees, Damir Ljubic
9. Transport and Communications, Damir Hadzic
10. Defence, Muhamed Ibrahimovic