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news 06 Jan 14

Bosnia Federation President Sacks Finance Minister

The Bosniak-Croat Federation entity’s President Zivko Budimir was accused of hobbling the government and endangering Croats’ role in it after dismissing Finance Minister Ante Krajina.

Elvira M. Jukic
BIRN
Sarajevo

Budimir sacked Krajina on Friday over a complaint by several Croat war veterans’ organisations which said that their members had not received their pensions, but the president was quickly accused of forcing him out for political reasons.

After the dismissal of Krajina, a Croat, there are now not enough Croats in the Federation entity government for it to function properly.

Budimir has also demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Nermin Niksic so that the whole entity government can be replaced.

But Niksic has accused Budimir of seeking to block the government’s work.

More than a year ago, in December 2012, Niksic sent Budimir a request to dismiss eight ministers from the government because he wanted his old coalition partner parties out of power.

But Budimir never accepted the request at the time because he was a member of one of those parties, and it was only on Friday that he moved to sack one of the ministers named on Niksic’s list, Krajina.

After the belated decision, Niksic alleged that Krajina had only been sacked now because he had not given in to Budimir’s “blackmail”.

“For some time now, Budimir has been blackmailing some ministers from the government... threatening he would dismiss them if they do not accept his demands and dictates, all based on my request to dismiss eight ministers [in 2012] which he refused at the time, stopping the reconstruction of the government,” Niksic said in a written statement.

He also accused Budimir of continuing to block the work of government and of complicating the political processes in the Federation entity.

Adding to the new row between the president and the government in the Bosniak-Croat entity, vice-president Mirsad Kebo said he would demand a check on whether the vital ethnic interests of Croats were being endangered because one of their ministers had been removed.

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