Bosnia votes for new Croat prime minister
SARAJEVO - Agence France-Presse
Bosnia’s new Prime Minister Vjekoslav Bevanda speaks in Parliament. REUTERS photoBosnia’s parliament on Jan. 12 voted in Vjekoslav Bevanda as the country’s new prime minister as he pledged to focus on reviving the economy and efforts to join the EU. His appointment ends 15 months of political crisis which further crippled the already ethnically-divided country in the wake of general elections in October 2010.
In a speech to deputies before the vote Bevanda called on politicians of Bosnia’s three main communities -- Muslims, Serbs and Croats -- to “join forces to resolve the economic problems.” “European integration is the only path to the future” for the war torn Balkans country, he added. Bevanda, a 55-year-old financial expert and a member of the main Croat HDZ party, was subsequently backed by 31 deputies in Bosnia’s 42-seat central parliament. Since the end of the 1992-1995 war Bosnia, has been divided into two semi-autonomous halves -- the Muslim-Croat Federation and the Serbs’ Republika Srpska.
The two entities are linked by a weak central government that will be led by Bevanda. His nomination was the result of a deal late December between the country’s main political leaders after months of wrangling. Bevanda was finance minister of the Muslim-Croat Federation between 2007 and 2011. Before entering politics the economist worked for several local companies and banks between 1979 and 2007.