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news 10 Sep 13

Cracks Widen in Bosnia's Federation Coalition

A senior official of the Alliance for Better Future, SBB, said his party intended to end its partnership with the Social Democrats, SDP, in the Federation entity.

Elvira M. Jukic
BIRN
Sarajevo

Fehim Skaljic, a senior official in the Alliance for a Better Future, SBB, one of Bosnia's ruling parties, on September 9 said his party was not satisfied with its partnership with the Social Democratic Party, SDP, in the country's Federation entity, and would probably end the partnership.

“The SBB is fullly dissatisfied with the role of the SDP in the Federation government, so we will likely end the partnership,” Skaljic said.

“The budgets of many municipalities and cantons are endangered, the Federation budget is kept going by artificial credits and the situation is alarming,” he added.

Skaljic mostly blamed the entity's SDP Prime Minister, Nermin Niksic, whom he held most responsible for the poor economic and political situation in the entity.

The SDP responded that it was not to blame for problems in the entity, adding that it saw the SBB's move as a tactical manoeuvre ahead of the 2014 elections.

Meanwhile the Bosniak Party of Democratic Action, SDA, said it would be willing to replace the SDP as the SBB's coalition partner.

“Due to its unwillingness to share power with anyone, the SDP is not capable of keeping any partner for any length of time,” Ismet Osmanovic of the SDA remarked.

The Federation entity government originally comprised the SDP, the SDA and two smaller ethnic Croat parties.

The SDP later broke off its coalition with the SDA and formed a new parliamentary majority with the SBB and the two main Croatian parties, the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ and its sister party, HDZ 1990.

The new parliamentary majority tried - but failed - to change the composition of ministers in the entity government in accordance with the new coalition arrangements.

As a result, the cabinet and the parliamentary majority in the Federation are made up of different parties.

The SBB did not say whether it intended to end its coalition with the SDP at state level, too.

Changes in coalitions and political standpoints have kept the mainly Bosniak and Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in a state of political turmoil almost since the government was formed in March 2011.

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