Breakthrough On Bosnian Impasse


By Elvira Jukic

Bosnia has a new government almost 15 months after elections took place in the autumn of 2010.

Following a meeting on Wednesday in Sarajevo the leaders of Bosnia’s six political parties, which were elected in a general election on October 30, 2010, agreed on the formation of a new government, breaking the political deadlock that had gripped the country.

Dragan Covic, whose Croatian Democratic Union Party, HDZ, will appoint a new Prime Minister said that the new PM’s name will be officially offered to the Bosnian Presidency on Thursday.

He added that the government will be made up of ten ministers; four appointees will represent Bosniaks, three Serbians and three Croats.

The agreement was reached following a fourth attempt at finding a solution after previous negotiating meetings failed to reach a compromise between the parties.

Failure to reach agreement would have left Bosnia facing a possible financial crisis as the last national budget was agreed for the financial year 2010.

All six political parties will form the new government. They are the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Party of Democratic Action, SDA, Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, its sister party HDZ 1990, Serbian Democratic Party, (SDS), and Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, SNSD.

The agreement faced mixed reaction with SNSD leader Milorad Dodik, who had demanded four posts for Serbs, saying that none of the six political parties were satisfied with what they got.

Dodik told a press conference “Instead of the fourth Serb position, we were given the posts of Director of the Communications Regulatory Agency and State Investigative Protection Agency.”

Dodik added that the meeting had discussed the state budget issue and concluded that the Parliamentary Assembly would adopt the budget for 2011 within the next few days and then decide on three-month temporary financing until the budget for 2012 is agreed.

Zlatko Lagumdzija, leader of the Social Democrats said that he was sorry the agreement took so much time to resolve, but he was satisfied with the result.

“We have a clear agreement,” said Lagumdzija, “and I hope that in the future we will meet more often and spend less time dealing among each other.”

The position of Director of the Department for Indirect Taxation will be held by a Croat and agreed between SDP and HDZ.

One of four Bosniak (Muslim) positions will be given to a candidate who is not ethnically designated. Another Bosniak position will be assigned to a Bosniak from the Republika Srpska.

SDA leader Sulejman Tihic announced that at the meeting they also discussed the adoption of laws which are necessary for Bosnia to be a successful candidate for membership of the European Union.

Tihic added “After the state aid law, census law and amendments to the Constitution related to the Sejdic and Finci Human Rights verdict are adopted, Bosnia will then have a chance of being a credible candidate for EU accession.”

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (formerly 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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