ISSN 2330-717X

Bosnian Serbs Reject SDP-Backed Premier


Slavo Kukic, Bosnia’s nominee premier, looks highly unlikely to get support from Serb representatives in parliament, in which case Bosnia’s eight-month search for a Prime Minister goes on.

By Eldin Hadzovic

Slavo Kukic himself said that Parliament should support his nomination by the Presidency, even if it had to be passed over the objections of the Serb Presidency member.

Bosnia looks unlikely to get a new Prime Minister at the end of this week, after Bosnian Serbs said they would veto the current nominee.

The exact date of the next session of the House of Representatives of the State Parliament is expected to be disclosed on Thursday, Parliament’s press officer said. It is expected to take place on Friday.

Bosnia continues to struggle to form a state government more than eight months after general elections held on October 3 last year.

At the session, the State Parliament will vote for or against the Prime Ministerial candidate, who was nominated by the State Presidency on Tuesday. Slavo Kukic was proposed by the Social Democrats, SDP.

But parties in Bosnia’s Serb-dominated entity, Republika Srpska, RS, say they will not support Kukic and will only support a legitimate representative of Croats – ie a member of one of the main Bosnian Croat parties.

In this case, the Parliament will not appoint Kukic as the new premier. The State Presidency will then have eight days to provide a new nominee. Neither the law nor the Presidency’s Statute says how many times the procedure may be repeated and whether one candidate could be nominated repeatedly.

The Republika Srpska President, Milorad Dodik, said that Kukic might be president “to his mother and father” – but he wouldn’t be to anyone else. “Kukic cannot have any support from the RS. This is a waste of time,” Dodik said.

Zlatko Lagumdzija, the SDP leader, said they would be count on everyone who wants to see the country exiting its current crisis voting for Kukic.

Europe’s High Representative, Valentin Inzko, welcomed the news that Bosnia finally has a nominee premier.

Noting that Kukic is not a member of any political party, Inzko said: “That could help him, but also it could be a handicap. We will see in the next few days.” Inzko said the urgent priority now was to establish a Council of Ministers.

Kukic himself said that Parliament should support his nomination by the Presidency, even if it had to be passed over the objections of the Serb Presidency member.

“I sincerely hope the parties will overcome those divisions, and give support to the Presidency’s decision,” said Kukic.

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The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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