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news 28 Mar 13

First Non-Bosniak Mayor of Sarajevo in 22 Years

Five months after local elections the City Council of the Bosnian capital elected a Bosnian Croat, Ivo Komsic, as the new mayor on a four-year mandate.

Kenan Efendic
BIRN
Sarajevo

Komsic, proposed by his own Social Democratic Union, won the support of 15 councillors while seven voted against and five abstained.

His opponent, Igor Kamocaji, from Social Democratic Party, SDP, received 12 votes for, 12 against while two abstained.

“I hope that, together with the City Council, I will lead the city as it deserves. We are aware that Sarajevo is the capital of our country and we should act in accordance with that. I expect the City Council to work as a team, beyond political feuds,” Komsic said at his inaugural speech.

He also promised to work on integration with Eastern Sarajevo, which is part of Republika Srpska, the mainly Serbian autonomous entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Former mayor Alija Behmen said that Komsic was the best choice.

Komsic is currently dean and professor at the Faculty of Philosophy in the University of Sarajevo, and he is regarded as one of most prominent Croat intellectuals in Bosnia.

He is also the first non-Bosniak mayor of the capital in 22 years. Bosniaks are the majority of the population in the city.

During the 1992-1995 war he was a member of collective State Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Until 2002 he was vice-president of Social Democrativ Party but following disagreements with party leader Zlatko Lagumdzija he founded new party, the Social Democratic Union, together with some other prominent members of the SDP.

The Mayor of Sarajevo is a representative post in general, as all the main executive powers are in hands of local municipalities or the Canton of Sarajevo.

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