A coalition of Bosnian Croat and Bosniak parties plan to contest the October elections in Bosnia's mainly Serbian entity Republika Srpska together, to maximise their chances.
Premier of Canton Sarajevo (CS) Elmedin Konakovic submitted the resignation letter on Monday in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) capital Sarajevo, a week after the dismissal from the CS government, local media reported Monday. The resignation letter that thanked for the former cooperation was submitted to the Chairman of Canton Sarajevo Assembly Ana Babic.
“I use the opportunity to thank you for the good cooperation done so far and to wish you a successful work in the future” Konakovic wrote shortly in the resignation letter.
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s parliament is set to vote on a law that will allow video surveillance and scanners to be installed at elections in a measure aimed at preventing any possibility of poll fraud. Lawmakers in the House of Peoples of Bosnia’s state-level parliament are to vote on Wednesday on legal changes approving the use video surveillance and scanners during polling.
Elvedin Konakovic, the popular premier of the Sarajevo Canton, is starting his own political party after quitting the main Bosniak political force, the Party of Democratic Action.
Elvedin Konakovic has announced the launch of a new political party called People and Justice after resigning from the Party of Democratic Action, SDA, inviting potential supporters to attend its founding assembly on March 22.
Bosnia's ruling coalition – which lost its majority in the state parliament last year – suffered more blows after two more MPs said they were quitting the coalition parties.
Bosnia's embattled ruling coalition, comprising the Party of Democratic Action, SDA, the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, the Alliance for Better Future of Bosnia, SBB, and the Serbian Democratic Party, SDS, has lost the support of another two MPs in the state parliament.
The main Bosnian Serb opposition party, the Serbian Democratic Party, SDS, nominated party leader Vukota Govedarica as its candidate for president of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Serbian-dominated entity in elections this autumn. The 41-year-old leader of the Serbian Democratic Party from the pro-EU Alliance for Changes is positioning himself as the catalyst to end the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats’ nearly 12-year-long hold on power.
The combative President of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, has confirmed that he wants the Serbian seat on Bosnia's state presidency – and that, if he wins, he will not work out of Sarajevo but will only communicate with his colleagues via video link.
Republika Srpska (RS) President Milorad Dodik confirmed on Thursday that he will be a candidate for the elections to the three-member state presidency of Bosnia this autumn.
Bosnian leaders hope for positive feedback from the EU Council of Foreign Ministers, which meets on Monday, after the country's Presidency secured last-minute approval of one of the key measures Brussels wanted Sarajevo to fulfil.
"In the past year-and-a-half, Bosnia has made more progress in the EU integration process than in all previous years put together," Edin Dilberovic, head of Bosnia's Directorate for EU integration, told BIRN.
The International Monetary Fund, IMF, has postponed approval of a 550-million-euros program for Bosnia and Herzegovina after Bosnia’s authorities failed to sign the already reached agreement.
“Due to a delay in the signing of the Letter of Intent, LOI, the IMF Executive Board meeting to consider the authorities' request for an arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility had to be delayed until further notice,” Francisco Parodi, the IMF Representative to Bosnia, said in a statement on Thursday.
The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday it had delayed approval of a three-year, 550 million euro ($608 million) loan agreement for Bosnia after authorities there failed to sign the deal in what appeared to be an internal political spat.
The two autonomous regions, the Bosniak-Croat Federation and the Serb Republic, whose total budget deficit amounts to about 1 billion Bosnian marka ($570 million), badly need IMF cash to help cover their financing needs, and the IMF Executive Board had been expected to approve the deal in mid-July.
Leaders of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia on Monday signed up to approve the establishment of the new Regional Youth Cooperation Office - an idea based on a reconciliation project to bring French and German youth closer together after World War II.
"Serbia was among the first to support this idea last year," Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic told media after the signing ceremony at the Balkan Summit in Paris.
Bosnia will probably be the only former Yugoslav country without its own candidate for the position of UN Secretary General whose election should take place in September 2016, as a result of the feuds inside the Bosnian Presidency.
“Given the current situation, the Presidency will not propose any candidate for this position," Marija Milic, spokesperson of the Serbian member of the Presidency, Mladen Ivanic, told BIRN on Tuesday.
European Union and U.S. envoys warned Bosnia's leaders on Wednesday that the country risked missing out on closer ties with the EU in the near term and losing 2 billion euros in support due to an impasse over reforms.
Bosnia hoped Brussels would consider its EU membership bid at its next ministerial council in mid-July, but without the reforms this may not happen.
The first European Islamophobia Summit opens on Friday in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. Lasting until June 26, it will bring together European and US political, academic and civil-society leaders with the goal of finding solutions to the challenge of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate crimes in Europe.
Farid Hafez of Salzburg University, who is the academic advisor to the summit, told BIRN that Islamophobia had reached a worrying dimension in Europe.
The assembly of Bosnia's Serb-dominated entity, Republika Srpska, on Tuesday held an emergency session on decision of the state statistical agency to publish the results of Bosnia's 2013 census - without first agreeing on a shared methodology with Bosnian Serb experts.
After a heated debate, the assembly asked Bosnian State Statistical Agency to withdraw its decision to publish the results of the 2013 census, and asked the government of the entity to prepare a draft law that would allow publication of the census results by Republika Srpska autonomously.
Bosnia's NATO Membership Action Plan, MAP, is not likely to be activated at the next Alliance summit in Warsaw on July 8 and 9, given its failure to adopt key reforms which were set as a key condition for membership, Ines Kuburovic, the spokesperson of the NATO headquarters in Sarajevo, told BIRN on Monday.
"The MAP for Bosnia and Herzegovina will not be activated at the next NATO Summit in Warsaw... since the condition [set for its activation at the 2010 NATO summit in Tallinn] has not been met," Kuburovic said.
Western diplomats urged Bosnian leaders Thursday to continue moving toward NATO membership, saying it could bring security and improve people's lives. But a Bosnian Serb leader says Serbs will not let Bosnia join until the alliance resolves its differences with Russia.
Britain’s Prime Minister is staring political disaster in the face as polls suggest that voters are set to defy his advice and vote to crash out of the EU in the historic “in-out” vote on June 23.
With less than ten days to go before the referendum - whose result is binding, not advisory, on the UK government - there is growing panic in the “Remain” camp that their message is not getting through.
Bosnian Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic, and the Prime Ministers of the country’s two political entities, Republika Srpska’s [RS] Zeljka Cvijanovic and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s [FBiH] Fadil Novalic, still couldn't agree on the adoption of a coordination mechanism between Bosnian institutions.
The agreement is a central component of the country’s efforts to become an EU ascension candidate.