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News 09 Dec 14

Bosnia's New Parliament Divides up Key Posts

Lawmakers in parliament's House of Representatives have elected a president and vice-presidents from the ranks of the Bosniak, Croatian and Serbian parties that did best in the recent elections.

Elvira M. Jukic

Sefik Dzaferovic, of the [mainly Bosniak] Party of Democratic Action, SDA, was named president of the House of Representatives, one of two chambers of Bosnia's state-level parliament, in a vote at the first session on December 9.

The first vice-president was named as Borjana Kristo, from the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ. Mladen Bosic, of the Serbian Democratic Party, SDS, was named the second vice-president.

The new 42-seat House of Representatives comprises 28 lawmakers from the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the larger of the country's two entities, and 14 from the other entity, Republika Srpska.

The SDA holds 10 seats, the [Serbian] Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, SNSD, six, the Democratic Front, DF, has five, as does the SDS.

The Alliance for a Better Future, SBB, has four, as does the HDZ and its partners. The Social Democratic Party, SDP, has three seats.

HDZ 1990 has one, as does the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Patriot Party, BPS, the Party of Democratic Progress, PDP, the People's Democratic Movement, NDP, and the Party of Democratic Action, A-SDA.

The SDA, HDZ and SDS, which hold the leading positions in the parliament, are the same parties that have ruled the country – more or less – since the first multi-party elections in modern history in 1990. They emerged as the relative winners in the October elections.

While the SDA and HDZ, alongside the Democratic Front, have agreed to form the government in the Federation entity, the SDS has not succeeded in forming a government in Republika Srpska, where an SNSD-led coalition has gathered more support.

Formation of the state-level government - the Council of Ministers - is still not clear in terms of its composition, as the SDA would rather have the SDS as its partner, while the HDZ prefers the SNSD.

Nikola Spiric, a new lawmaker for the SNSD, said his party preferred to remain in opposition at state level and choose its own policies. 

Since the October elections, the parties that won most votes have held various talks on the formation of cantonal, entity and state-level governments but no clear state-level coalition is yet in sight.

Lawmakers of the House of Representatives on Tuesday meanwhile also chose members of the commission tasked with preparation of the election of the Council of Ministers.

The first session of parliament's other chamber, the House of Peoples, has yet to take place.

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