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news 24 Oct 12

Bosnia's Parliament Dismisses Deputy Speaker

Social Democrat Denis Becirovic was dismissed as Deputy Parliament Speaker - but plans to dismiss the SDP leader, Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija, have been dropped - the result of what some call a murky political trade-off.

Elvira M. Jukic
BIRN
Sarajevo

The House of Representatives, one of two chambers of the State Parliament, has dismissed its Social Democrat deputy speaker, Denis Becirevic, on the proposal of the Serbian Democratic Party, SDS.

The SDS argued that he had no authority to send a protest note to Serbia for having called the Bosnian Serb-led entity, Republika Srpska, a state.

The SDS motion was supported by all parliamentarians from Republika Srpska and by the Bosniak [Muslim] Party of Democratic Action, SDA, which was the former coalition partner of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, but which was expelled from the state government on Monday on the SDP's initiative.

Meanwhile, the other main Serbian party, the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, SNSD, on Tuesday dropped its initiative to dismiss the SDP leader, Zlatko Lagumdzija, as Foreign Minister.

The party called for Lagumdzija's dismissal in August, saying he had told Bosnia’s UN representative to vote in support of a UN resolution on Syria without due consultation.

Milorad Zivkovic, from the SNSD, on Tuesday said his party had dumped the idea because the party “was acting responsibly, guided by the best economic and national interests of the Republika Srpska”.

The opposition SDA said it believed there had been a political trade-off, saying that the SDP had agreed to deals that were against the national interest in order to save its leader.

“It looks as if [SNSD leader Milorad] Dodik agreed to leave Lagumdzija as a minister and Becirovic is the collateral damage”, Asim Sarajlic, of the SDA, said.

The SDA also claimed that the price of the deal to save Lagumdzija included making a third Croat-run entity in the country, based on the city of Mostar.

The alleged deal, according to the SDA, also includes reorganization of the judiciary, changes to the army and other changes weakening the state-level institutions of Bosnia.

Another opposition party, the Party of Democratic Progress, from the Republika Srpska, also accused the SNSD and SDP of hatching a political deal.

The SDP dismissed such accusations, describing them as revenge by the SDA for having been expelled from the state government on Monday.

It added that the process of dismissing the SDA ministers and restructuring the government was just the beginning of a solution to Bosnia's overall political crisis.

Bosnia's state government was formed on February 10, more than 16 months after the general elections in October 2010.

The original coalition comprised the two Bosniak parties, the SDA and SDP, the two Serbian parties, the SNSD and SDS, and two Croatian Parties, the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ BiH, and its sister party, HDZ 1990.

The SDP-SDA coalition broke up in May and since then the SDP has demanded the dismissal of SDA from the government. It succeeded on October 22, when two ministers and a deputy minister from the SDA lost their posts.

The SDP's plan is to get its new coalition partner, the Alliance for a Better Future, SBB, to take the vacant ministerial seats.

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