News 12 Jan 12

New PM Vows to Move Bosnia Towards EU

Bosnian lawmakers backed Vjekoslav Bevanda as the country's new prime minister on Thursday, while a complete government is expected to be appointed next week.

Elvira Jukic

Bevanda was supported in the State Parliament by 31 votes; two MPs voted against him and three abstained.

The new premier got straight to work following his appointment, announcing consultations with ministerial candidates in the coming days. He said he hoped the new government would be appointed by the end of next week.

In his speech to the Parliament on Thursday afternoon, Bevanda said his priorities will be leading the Council of Ministers, Bosnia's state government, towards fulfilling the tasks given by the European Union and improving the country's economic situation.

Bevanda said state agencies have to focus on implementing the acquis communautaire- the legislation and legal acts which make up the body of EU law- and the economic reforms to assure the country's compatibility with the rest of Europe.

“The priority will be the fight against corruption, which is the main obstacle blocking efficient politics and legislative implementation,” Bevanda told lawmakers, while also stressing the necessity to continue the fight against terrorism and crime.

He also noted that it is in Bosnia's interest to up cooperation with its neighbours, especially Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia.

Bevanda was the sole candidate proposed by the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, one of six parties in the new government.

He was previously a member of the parliament of the Bosniak-Croat Federation, one of Bosnia's two entities at the moment he was proposed to be the state PM. Before that, he served as the entity's finance minister and vice president of the Federation government from 2006-2010.

The leaders of Bosnia's six political parties, which were elected in a general election in October 2010, agreed on the formation of a new government on December 28, breaking the political deadlock that had gripped the country for 15 months.

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