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Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Principal Government Officials
President--Zivko Radisic (Bosnian Serb)
Co-Prime Ministers--Beriz Belkic (Bosnian Muslim) Jozo Krizanovic (Bosnian Croat)
President (RS)--Mirko Sarovic
President (Federation)--Safet Halilovic
Vicepresident (Federation) --Karlo Filipovic
President and Cabinet
The Presidency in Bosnia Herzegovina rotates among three members (Bosniak, Serb, Croat), each elected for a 4-year term. The three members of the Presidency are elected directly by the people (Federation votes for the Bosniak/Croat, RS for the Serb).

The Presidency is responsible for:

  • Conducting the foreign policy of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • Appointing ambassadors and other international representatives, no more than two thirds of which may come from the Federation;
  • Representing Bosnia and Herzegovina in European and international organizations and institutions and seeking membership in such organizations and institutions of which it is not a member;
  • Negotiating, denouncing, and, with the consent of the Parliamentary Assembly, ratifying treaties of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • Executing decisions of the Parliamentary Assembly;
  • Proposing, upon the recommendation of the Council of Ministers, an annual budget to the Parliamentary Assembly;
  • Reporting as requested, but no less than annually, to the Parliamentary Assembly on expenditures by the Presidency;
  • Coordinating as necessary with international and nongovernmental organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and;
  • Performing such other functions as may be necessary to carry out its duties, as may be assigned to it by the Parliamentary Assembly, or as may be agreed by the Entities.

The Chair of the Council of Ministers is nominated by the Presidency and approved by the House of Representatives. He is then responsible for appointing a Foreign Minister, Minister of Foreign Trade, and others as appropriate. The Council is responsible for carrying out the policies and decisions in the fields of foreign policy; foreign trade policy; customs policy; monetary policy; finances of the institutions and for the international obligations of Bosnia and Herzegovina; immigration, refugee, and asylum policy and regulation; international and inter-Entity criminal law enforcement, including relations with Interpol; establishment and operation of common and international communications facilities; regulation of inter-Entity transportation; air traffic control; facilitation of inter-Entity coordination; and other matters as agreed by the Entities.

Legislature
The Parliamentary Assembly is the lawmaking body in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It consists of two houses: the House of Peoples and the House of Representatives. The House of Peoples includes 15 delegates, two-thirds of which come from the Federation (5 Croat and 5 Bosniaks) and one-third from the RS (5 Serbs). Nine members of the House of Peoples constitutes a quorum, provided that at least three delegates from each group are present. Federation representatives are selected by the House of Peoples of the Federation, and RS representatives are selected by the RS National Assembly. The House of Representatives is comprised of 42 Members, two-thirds elected from the Federation and one-third elected from the RS. Federation representatives are elected directly by the voters of the Federation, and RS representatives are selected by the RS National Assembly (the National Assembly is directly elected by RS voters).

The Parliamentary Assembly is responsible for enacting legislation as necessary to implement decisions of the Presidency or to carry out the responsibilities of the Assembly under the Constitution; deciding upon the sources and amounts of revenues for the operations of the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina and international obligations of Bosnia and Herzegovina; approving a budget for the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina; deciding whether to consent to the ratification of treaties; and other matters as are necessary to carry out its duties of as are assigned to it by mutual agreement of the Entities.

Judiciary
The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the supreme, final arbiter of legal matters. It is composed of nine members: four members are selected by the House of Representatives of the Federation, two by the Assembly of the RS, and three by the President of the European Court of Human Rights after consultation with the Presidency. Terms of initial appointees are 5 years, unless they resign or are removed for cause by consensus of the other judges. Once appointed, judges are not eligible for reappointment. Judges subsequently appointed will serve until the age of 70, unless they resign or are removed for cause. Appointments made 5 years after the initial appointments may be governed by a different law of selection, to be determined by the Parliamentary Assembly.

Proceedings of the Court are public, and decisions will be published. Rules of court are adopted by a majority of the Court, and decisions are final and binding. The Constitutional Court's original jurisdiction lies in deciding any constitutional dispute that arises between the Entities or between Bosnia and Herzegovina and an Entity or Entities. Such disputes may be referred only by a member of the Presidency, by the Chair of the Council of Ministers, by the Chair or Deputy Chair of either chamber of the Parliamentary Assembly, or by one-fourth of the legislature of either Entity. The Court also has appellate jurisdiction within the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Both the Federation and the RS government have established lower court systems for their territories.

Bosnian Embassy
43 Alipasina
71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
tel: [387] (71) 445-700

Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Bosnia and Herzegovina
local long form: none
local short form: Bosna i Hercegovina

Data code: BK

Government type: emerging democracy

Capital: Sarajevo

Administrative divisions: there are two first-order administrative divisions - the Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Federacija Bosna i Hercegovina) and the Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska; note - Brcko in northeastern Bosnia is a self-governing administrative unit under the sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina; it is not part of either the Federation or Republika Srpska

Independence: NA April 1992 (from Yugoslavia)

National holiday: Bosnia and Herzegovina - BiH National Day, 25 November

Constitution: the Dayton Agreement, signed 14 December 1995, included a new constitution now in force

Legal system: based on civil law system

Suffrage: 16 years of age, if employed; 18 years of age, universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: Chairman of the Presidency Alija IZETBEGOVIC (chairman since 14 February 2000, presidency member since 14 March 1996 - Bosniak); other members of the three-member rotating (every 8 months) presidency: Zivko RADISIC (since 13 October 1998 - Serb) and Ante JELAVIC (since NA September 1998 - Croat)
head of government: vacant; note - in February 2000, the Supreme Court ruled that the structure of the Council of Ministers was unconstitutional; a new structure is being negotiated
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the council chairmen
note: President of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Ejup GANIC (since 28 December 1999; Vice President Ivo ANDRIC-LUZANIC (since 28 December 1999); note - president and vice president rotate every year; President of the Republika Srpska: vacant since Nikola POPLASEN was removed by the Office of the High Representative on 5 March 1999 (see Government note)
elections: the three members of the presidency (one Bosniak, one Croat, one Serb) are elected by popular vote for a four-year term; the member with the most votes becomes the chairman unless he or she was the incumbent chairman at the time of the election; election last held 12-13 September 1998 (next to be held NA September 2002); the cochairmen of the Council of Ministers are appointed by the presidency
election results: percent of vote - Zivko RADISIC with 52% of the Serb vote was elected chairman of the collective presidency for the first 8 months; Ante JELAVIC with 52% of the Croat vote followed RADISIC in the rotation; Alija IZETBEGOVIC with 87% of the Bosniak vote won the highest number of votes in the election but was ineligible to serve a second term until RADISIC and JELAVIC had each served a first term as Chairman of the Presidency

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliamentary Assembly or Skupstina consists of the National House of Representatives or Vijece Opcina (42 seats - 14 Serb, 14 Croat, and 14 Bosniak; members elected by popular vote to serve two-year terms) and the House of Peoples or Vijece Gradanstvo (15 seats - 5 Bosniak, 5 Croat, 5 Serb; members elected by the Bosniak/Croat Federation's House of Representatives and the Republika Srpska's National Assembly to serve two-year terms)
elections: National House of Representatives - elections last held 12-13 September 1998 (next to be held in fall 2000); House of Peoples - last constituted 4 December 1998 (next to be constituted in fall 2000)
election results: National House of Representatives - percent of vote by party/coalition - NA; seats by party/coalition - KCD 17, HDZ-BiH 6, SDP-BiH 6, Sloga 4, SDS 4, SRS-RS 2, DNZ 1, NHI 1, RSRS 1; House of Peoples - percent of vote by party/coalition - NA; seats by party/coalition - NA
note: the Bosniak/Croat Federation has a bicameral legislature that consists of a House of Representatives (140 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve 4-year terms); elections last held fall 1998 (next to be held fall 2000); percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party/coalition - KCD 68, HDZ-BiH 28, SDP-BiH 25, NHI 4, DNZ 3, DSP 2, BPS 2, HSP 2, SPRS 2, BSP 1, KC 1, BOSS 1, HSS 1; and a House of Peoples (72 seats - 30 Bosniak, 30 Croat, and 12 others); last constituted November 1998; the Republika Srpska has a National Assembly (83 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve 4-year terms); elections last held fall 1998 (next to be held fall 2000); percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party/coalition - SDS 19, KCD 15, SNS 12, SRS-RS 11, SPRS 10, SNSD 6, RSRS 3, SKRS 2, SDP 2, KKO 1, HDZ-BiH 1, NHI 1; as of January 1999, Bosnia and Herzegovina does not have a permanent election law; a draft law specifies four-year terms for the state and first-order administrative division entity legislatures

Judicial branch: Constitutional Court, consists of nine members: four members are selected by the Bosniak/Croat Federation's House of Representatives, two members by the Republika Srpska's National Assembly, and three non-Bosnian members by the president of the European Court of Human Rights

Political parties and leaders: Bosnian Party of Rights or BSP [leader NA]; Bosnian Party or BOSS [Mirnes AJANOVIC]; Bosnian Patriotic Party or BPS [Sefer HALILOVIC]; Center Coalition or KC (includes LBO, RS) [leader NA]; Civic Democratic Party or GDS [Ibrahim SPAHIC]; Coalition for King and Fatherland or KKO (Dubravko Prstojevic]; Coalition for a United and Democratic BIH or KCD [Alija IZETBEGOVIC; includes SDA and SBH]; Croatian Democratic Union of BiH or HDZ-BiH [Ante JELAVIC]; Croatian Party of Rights or HSP [Zdravko HRSTIC]; Croatian Peasants Party of BiH or HSS-BiH [Ilija SIMIC]; Democratic Party for Banja Luka and Krajina [Nikola SPIRIC]; Democratic Party of Pensioners or DSP [Alojz KNEZOVIC]; Democratic Peoples Union or DNZ [Fikret ABDIC]; Liberal Bosniak Organization or LBO [Muhamed FILIPOVIC]; Liberal Party or LS [Rasim KADIC, president]; Muslim-Bosnia Organization or MBO [Dzevad HADZIAVDIC]; New Croatian Initiative or NHI [Kresimir ZUBAK]; Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina or SBH [Haris SILAJDZIC]; Party for Democratic Action or SDA [Alija IZETBEGOVIC]; Party of Democratic Progress of the Republika Srpska [Mladen IVANIC]; Party of Independent Social Democrats or SNSD [Milorad DODIK]; Radical Party Republika Srpska of RSRS [Miroslav RADOVANOVIC]; Republican Party or RS [Stjepan KLJUIC]; Serb Coalition for Republika Srpska or SKRS [Predrag LAZAREVIC]; Serb Democratic Party or Serb Lands or SDS [Dragan KALINIC]; Serb National Alliance or SNS [Biljana PLAVSIC]; Serb Radical Party-Republika Srpska or SRS-RS [Nikola POPLASEN] (banned by the Office of the High Representative - see Government note - from participation in the April elections); Sloga or Unity [Zivko RADISIC] (includes SNS, SPRS, SNSD); Social Democratic Party BIH or SDP-BiH [Zlatko LAGUMDZIJA]; Socialist Party of Republika Srpska or SPRS [Zivko RADISIC]

Political pressure groups and leaders: NA

International organization participation: CE (guest), CEI, EBRD, ECE, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, NAM (guest), OAS (observer), OIC (observer), OPCW, OSCE, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Sven ALKALAJ; note - Igor DAVIDOVIC should become ambassador in early 2000
chancery: 2109 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: [1] (202) 337-1500
FAX: [1] (202) 337-1502
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas J. MILLER
embassy: Alipasina 43, 71000 Sarajevo
mailing address: use street address
telephone: [387] (71) 445-700
FAX: [387] (71) 659-722

Flag description: a wide medium blue vertical band on the fly side with a yellow isosceles triangle abutting the band and the top of the flag; the remainder of the flag is medium blue with seven full five-pointed white stars and two half stars top and bottom along the hypotenuse of the triangle

Government - note: The Dayton Agreement, signed in Paris on 14 December 1995, retained Bosnia's exterior border and created a joint multi-ethnic and democratic government. This national government - based on proportional representation similar to that which existed in the former socialist regime - is charged with conducting foreign, economic, and fiscal policy. The Dayton Agreement also recognized a second tier of government, comprised of two entities - a joint Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Bosnian Serb Republika Srpska (RS) - each presiding over roughly one-half the territory. The Federation and RS governments are charged with overseeing internal functions. The Dayton Agreement established the Office of the High Representative (OHR) to oversee the implementation of the civilian aspects of the agreement. About 250 international and 450 local staff members are employed by the OHR.

See also : Bosnia and Herzegovina



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