AP Bosnia's new three-member presidency sworn in
Bosnia's new three-member presidency sworn in
Released : Monday, November 06, 2006 8:10 AM
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina-Bosnia's three-member presidency, elected in
last month's general election, was sworn into office on Monday, the
Serb member Nebojsa Radmanovic, of the Union of Independent Social
Democrats; Bosniak Haris Silajdzic, of the Party For Bosnia-Herzegovina; and
Croat Zeljko Komsic of the Social Democratic Party will serve as joint
presidents for four years.
The new presidency could be the first to run the country without
international supervision if they can overcome ethnic divisions. The office
of the international administrator, which has run the country since the end
of the 1992-5 war, said it will close up shop next year if newly elected
leaders find ways to implement reforms that will take the country closer to
the European Union.
"There is no doubt that the citizens of Bosnia are for the admission of our
country into the European Union. There are, of course, serious differences
about the way and the path for reaching this goal and these differences have
to be solved with patience, agreement and taking into consideration
different opinions," Silajdzic told the inauguration ceremony.
A final decision on whether to dissolve the international administrator's
office will be made in February, and will depend on how the new leaders
succeed in making reforms.
"Bosnia has to take a giant step forward. The question is do we all know in
what direction and how? It is essential that we completely overcome earlier
differences," Radmanovic told the ceremony.
The election showed the country's three main ethnic groups have shifted away
from the nationalist parties that led them into the 1992-95 war and through
However, they remained sharply split in elections on the country's future,
with Muslim Bosniaks and Catholic Croats supporting politicians who want to
unify the Balkan nation, while Orthodox Serbs backed a candidate whose party
advocates continued ethnic division.
Additionally, Bosnian Croat nationalist parties opposed the election of
Komsic, who comes from the multiethnic Social Democratic Party, arguing he
was not a "true Croat" and had been elected with help from Bosniak voters.
The complex election system in Bosnia, which is divided between a
Bosniak-Croat federation and a Serb republic, allows voters in the
federation to vote for either a Bosniak or a Croat candidate, while in the
Serb republic voters choose a Serb candidate.