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Bosnia and Herzegovina - Government and Political Conditions (Notes)


General Government Framework Information and Information Regarding the President and the Cabinet. Under the provisions of the Dayton Peace Accords, the Entities have competencies in areas such as finance, taxation, business development, and general legislation. Entities and cantons control their own budgets, spending on infrastructure, health care, and education. Ongoing reforms have led to the creation of a single, multi-ethnic military under state-level command and control to replace the previous Entity-based institutions and a state-level Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA) that is responsible for the implementation of a state-wide value-added tax (VAT), revenues from which fund the governments of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as the two Entities. Customs, which had been collected by agencies of the two Entities, also is now collected by a new single state customs service.

Presidency. The Presidency in Bosnia and Herzegovina rotates among three members (Bosniak, Serb, Croat), each elected for a 4-year term. The three members of the Presidency are directly elected (the Federation votes for the Bosniak/Croat, and the Republika Srpska 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 whom 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 non-governmental organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina; Exercising command and control over the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina in peacetime, crises, and war, 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 Defense, Minister of Foreign Trade, and others as appropriate. The Council is responsible for carrying out the policies and decisions in the fields of defense, intelligence, 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 whom come from the Federation (5 Croats and 5 Bosniaks) and one-third from the Republika Srpska (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 Republika Srpska representatives are selected by the Republika Srpska National Assembly.

The House of Representatives is comprised of 42 members, two-thirds elected from the Federation and one-third elected from the Republika Srpska. Federation representatives are elected directly by the voters of the Federation, and Republika Srpska representatives are directly elected by Republika Srpska 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; and deciding whether to consent to the ratification of treaties.

Judiciary. The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the supreme, final arbiter of legal matters. It is composed of nine members: four are selected by the House of Representatives of the Federation, two by the Assembly of the Republika Srpska, and three by the President of the European Court of Human Rights after consultation with the Presidency. 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. The Court also has appellate jurisdiction within the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Both the Federation and the Republika Srpska government have established lower court systems for their territories.

Principal Government Officials

State Level
Tri-Presidency--Zeljko Komsic (Bosnian Croat and current Chairman), Nebojsa Radmanovic (Bosnian Serb), Haris Silajdzic (Bosniak),
Chairman of the Council of Ministers--Nikola Spiric

Council of Ministers
Foreign Affairs--Sven Alkalaj
Deputy--Ana Trisic-Babic
Defense--Selmo Cikotic
Deputy--Marina Pendes
Deputy--Igor Crnadak
Foreign Trade and Economic Relations--Slobodan Puhalac
Deputy--Vilim Primorac
Treasury--Dragan Vrankic
Deputy--Fuad Kasumovic
Civil Affairs--Sredoje Novic
Deputy--Senad Sepic
Human Right and Refugees--Safet Halilovic
Deputy--Slavko Marin
Security--Tarik Sadovic
Deputy--Mijo Kresic
Justice--Barisa Colak
Deputy--Srdan Arnaut
Transport and Communications--Bozo Ljubic
Deputy--Veselin Poljasevic

BIH Parliament--House of Representatives
Speaker--Beriz Belkic (Bosniak)
Deputy Speaker--Niko Lozancic (Bosnian Croat)
Deputy Speaker--Milorad Zivkovic (Bosnian Serb)

BIH Parliament--House of Peoples
Speaker--Ilija Filipovic (Croat)
Deputy Speaker--Sulejman Tihic (Bosniak)
Deputy Speaker--Mladen Ivanic (Serb)

President--Borjana Kristo (Croat)
Vice President--Mirsad Kebo (Bosniak)
Vice President--Spomenka Micic (Serb)
Prime Minister--Nedzad Brankovic
Deputy Prime Minister--Vjekoslav Bevanda
Deputy Prime Minister--Gavrilo Grahovac

Federation Government
Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry--Damir Ljubic
Development and Entrepreneurship--Velimir Kunic
Culture, and Sports--Gavrilo Grahovac (also Deputy Prime Minister)
Energy, Mining, and Industry--Vahid Heco
Finance--Vjekoslav Bevanda (also Deputy Prime Minister)
Health--Safet Omerovic
Interior--Muhidin Alic
Justice--Feliks Vidovic
Refugees and Displaced Persons--Edin Music
Social Welfare and Labor--Perica Jelecevic
Trade--Desnica Radivojevic
Transport and Communications--Nail Seckanovic
Urban Planning and Environmental Protection--Salko Obhodjas
Environment and Tourism--Nevenko Herceg
Education and Science--Meliha Alic
War Veteran Affairs--Zahid Crnkic (nominated, pending confirmation)

Federation Parliament--House of Representatives (42 members)
Speaker--Safet Softic (Bosniak)
Deputy Speaker--Marinko Cavara (Croat)
Deputy Speaker--Vesna Saradzic (Serb)

Federation Parliament--House of Peoples (15 Members)
Speaker--Stjepan Kresic (Croat)
Deputy Speaker--Besim Imamovic (Bosniak)
Deputy Speaker--Drago Puzigaca (Serb)

Republika Srpska
President--Milan Jelic (Serb)
Vice President--Adil Osmanovic (Bosniak)
Vice President--Davor Cordas (Croat)
Prime Minister--Milorad Dodik
Deputy Prime Minister--Omer Brankovic
Deputy Prime Minister--Jasna Brkic

National Assembly (83 members)
Speaker--Igor Radojicic
Deputy Speaker--Sefket Hafizovic
Deputy Speaker--Nada Tesanovic

Governance and Local Self-Governance--Zoran Lipovac
Education and Culture--Anton Kasipovic
Economy, Energy and Development--Rajko Ubiparip
Family, Youth and Sports--Proko Dragosavljevic
Foreign Economic Relations--Jasna Brkic (also Deputy Prime Minister)
Finance--Aleksandar Dzombic
Health and Social Policy--Ranko Skrbic
Interior--Stanislav Cadjo
Justice--Dzerard Selman
Refugee Affairs--Omer Brankovic (also Deputy Prime Minister)
Science and Technology--Bakir Ajanovic
Trade and Tourism--Predrag Gluhakovic
Transport and Communications--Nedeljko Cubrilovic
Urban Planning, Utilities, Environment--Fatima Fetibegovic
Labor and War Veterans Issues--Bosko Tomic
Water Resources and Forestry (Agriculture)--Radivoje Bratic

Bosnia and Herzegovina maintains an embassy in the United States at 2109 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20037 (tel.: 202-337-1500; fax: 202-337-1502).

Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.

Facts at a Glance
Current Time
Ranking Positions

Notes and Commentary
Government and Political Conditions
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.

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