Zvizdic nominated as Bosnian premier

By bne IntelliNews February 10, 2015

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Bosnia’s tripartite presidency has nominated Denis Zvizdic as the country’s next prime minister, four months after the October 2014 elections. If Zvizdic’s government is approved by the parliament, this should pave the way for long-awaited economic reforms in the country.

Bosnia’s three presidents, representing the country’s Muslim, Croat and Serb populations, approved Zvizdic’s nomination as chairman of the council of ministers at an extraordinary session on February 9, the presidency said in a statement. The nomination will now be submitted to the parliament for approval.

Bosnia’s complex system of power-sharing, introduced at the end of the Yugoslavian civil war, leads to lengthy delays in the formation of new governments. The nomination of a prime minister at national level had previously been held up by delays in forming a government and approving key officials within the Bosniak-Croat Federation, one of Bosnia’s two entities.

Zvizdic, the candidate for the nationalist pro-European Party of Democratic Action (SDA), is a former associate professor of architecture at the University of Sarajevo. He previously served as prime minister of Sarajevo Canton and chairman of the Bosnian house of representatives.

Following the appointment of a new government, Bosnia is expected to start making progress on policy areas including infrastructure investment and privatisations of major state-owned companies.

Political divisions have also slowed Bosnia’s path towards EU accession. The October 2014 EU enlargement reports found “very limited” progress in Bosnia. “This regrettable situation is caused mostly by a lack of collective political will on the side of the leadership,” the report said.

However, in January, the Bosnian presidency approved a joint declaration, signalling its interest in EU integration and its commitment to carry out necessary reforms.

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