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news 23 Nov 12

Bosnia Parliament Names New Ministers

Ruling coalition names two new ministers and a deputy minister on Thursday after the Party of Democratic Action, SDA, was forced into opposition.

Elvira M. Jukic
BIRN
Sarajevo

Bosnia's State Parliament on November 22 named Fahrudin Radoncic as the new Security Minister, Zekerijah Osmic as Defence Minister and Edita Djapo as Deputy Finance Minister.

All three posts had been recently held by the Party of Democratic Action, SDA, the former coalition partner of the main governing party, the Social Democratic Party, SDP.

The SDP-SDA coalition broke up in May owing to disagreements over the adoption of the state budget.

The SDP in October then succeeded in dismissing the SDA ministers and in taking over the ministries together with its new partner, the Alliance for a Better Future, SBB.

The new coalition comprises the SDP and the SBB, the Serbian Democratic Party, SDS, the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, SNSD, the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ BiH and its sister party, HDZ 1990.

The new ministers were sworn in and took their posts following an agreement of the new coalition whose leaders met in Mostar recently to agreed on steps forward.

Defense Minister Osmic, from the SDP, told the media that he would continue working on Bosnia's Euro-Atlantic integration process.

His new colleague, Security Minister Radoncic, leader of the SBB, said he would ensure that the ministry did not interfere in the work of police or the judiciary.

“We have an obligation to solve political murders and ensure the rule of law complete sovereignty of police agencies,” he said.

Referring to similar problems in Croatia and Serbia, he said: "This country must face the same thing and not run away from the problems of business crime and corruption.”

Radoncic was a controversial choice as a security minister owing to his business ties and links to an alleged Balkan drug boss, Naser Kelmendi.

But his nomination passed checks conducted by the Central Electoral Commission and the State Investigative and Protection Agency, SIPA.

Radoncic is best known in public as the founder of the Bosnia's most widely read daily, Dnevni avaz, which now belongs to his ex-wife.

The state government was formed in February, some 16 months after the general elections in October 2010.

Problems arose in May, when the SDP and SDA parted. The process of changing the SDA ministers lasted until the end of November.

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