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news 29 Nov 12

Bosnia Entity Ministers Face Sack for Blocking Budget

Federation entity Premier Nermin Niksic said he may dismiss eight ministers who did not show up at Wednesday's government session, which thus failed to adopt a 2013 budget.

Elvira M. Jukic
BIRN
Sarajevo

The entity Prime Minister, Nermin Niksic, of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, said he might dismiss eight of his 16 ministers for not showing up at the government session as a result of which an entity budget for 2013 was not adopted.

Failure to adopt an entity budget could endanger Bosnia's stand-by arrangement with the International Monetary Fund.

“No reason can justify such behaviour,” Niksic said, “So, I have used my constitutional and legal rights to prepare the budget proposal... and send it to [the entity] parliament.”

Ministers from the Party of Democratic Action, SDA, Croatian Party of Rights, HSP, and the People's Party Work for Progress, NSRZB, boycotted the session after Niksic last week extended the mandate of the management of the Federation Investment Bank, under director Ramiz Dzaferovic.

The SDA, HSP and NSRZB were shaken by an audio recording of Dzaferovic, published in the media recently, in which he could be heard saying that ministers of all three parties had pressured him to provide credits to certain persons.

Referring to the bank, Niksic said he took the decision according to the rules of that institution, and that in any case, ministers should not block the adoption of the budget.

The Federation entity has to send its budget to it's entity parliament so that it can pass its two chambers by December 4, the IMF deadline within the stand-by arrangement.

Bosnia comprises two autonomous entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska.

The current government of the Federation entity comprises four parties, led by an SDP-SDA coalition, the same coalition that broke up at state level in May.

In the state government, the SDP has already expelled the SDA and it intends to do the same in the Federation entity.

At the same time it intends to dismiss the two minor Croat parties, the HSP and NSRZB, and replace them with the two main Croat parties, the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ BiH and its sister party, HDZ 1990. These are now the SDP's partners in the state government.

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