Category Archives: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Republika Srpska – New PM

The October 2010 presidential and legislative elections in the Republika Srpska have led to a change of PM.

The previous PM, Milorad Dodik from the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, was elected president at the election. In February 2011, he was replaced by Aleksandar Džombić from the same party.

The party breakdown in the legislature is here:

So, the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats does not have an overall majority. I do not have the composition of the cabinet.

The most recent controversy in the Republika Srpska has concerned the proposal to hold a de facto independence referendum. There was a threat that the High Representative in Bosnia would have annulled the referendum anyway. However, a positive vote would have put pressure on the Dayton Accords that currently govern Bosnia and its constituent parts. Anyway, President Dodik has now in effect cancelled the proposed referendum, saying that it is “not necessary”, Balkan Insight reports.

Republika Srpska – Presidential election

The Republika Srpska is officially recognized as one of the two entities that compose the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has its own constitution, which is semi-presidential. A previous post provides an overview of the system there.

On Sunday, elections were held for all representative institutions in the Federation, including presidential and parliamentary elections in the Republika Srpska. The Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina has figures for the elections.

The presidential election was not a surprise. It was won by Milorad Dodik from the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats. He was previously the prime minister of the Republika Srpska. He is considered to be a nationalist candidate who supports the idea of a separate state for Republika Srpska and has proposed a referendum on the issue. He won 51.9% of the vote, beating Ognjen Tadić from the Coalition Together for Srpska. He was considered a more moderate figure and won 37.0%. The figures seem to be for the percentage of votes cast rather than valid votes cast.

I do not yet have the figures for the parliamentary election.

‘Difficult’ cases – Bosnia and Herzegovina

This is series of posts that identifies countries that almost comply with the definition of semi-presidentialism that is used in this blog, but which fail to do so on the basis of a certain, sometimes unusual provision, or where the date when semi-presidentialism started can be contested.

For some Bosnia and Herzegovina might classify as semi-presidential. However, while I will happily admit that it is on the cusp of semi-presidentialism, I tend to exclude it from my list of semi-presidential countries.

In a fairly recent article, Toal et al provide a nice diagram of the complicated set of institutions contained in the 1995 constitution. (Gearóid Ó Tuathail (Gerard Toal), John O’Loughlin, and Dino Djipa, ‘Bosnia-Herzegovina Ten Years after Dayton: Constitutional Change and Public Opinion’, in Eurasian Geography and Economics, 2006, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 61-75. Available online here).

The Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina is available here.

Article V states that the presidency consists of three members one Bosniac and one Croat, each directly elected from the territory of the Federation, and one Serb directly elected from the territory of the Republika Srpska. (See here for a previous post on semi-presidentialism in the Republika Srpska). The presidency rotates every eight months.

Article V 4 states that “The Presidency shall nominate the Chair of the Council of Ministers, who shall take office upon the approval of the House of Representatives” and clause c states “The Council of Ministers shall resign if at any time there is a vote of no-confidence by the Parliamentary Assembly.”

So, there is a directly elected president, a prime minister, and collective governmental responsibility to the legislature. This seems to make Bosnia and Herzegovina semi-presidential. For me, though, the complicating factor is the three-person revolving presidency. My assumption is that a presidency is a one-person institution and that the president must serve for a fixed term. The Bosnian presidency does not meet these requirements. So, I tend to exclude Bosnia from the list of semi-presidential countries, even if it is on the cusp.

SP in disputed areas and other territories (5) – Republika Srpska

The Republika Srpska is officially recognized as one of the two entities that compose the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The constitution dates back to 1992, but it has been amended since. Like Serbia, and most of the constituent parts of the former Yugoslavia, it established a semi-presidential system.

Art. 83 establishes the direct election of the president, as well as the election of two vice-presidents.

Art. 93 establishes a prime minister, known as the president of the government.

Art. 94 states that the government is responsible to the National Assembly on the basis of votes of confidence and no-confidence. In addition, there are circumstances in which the president may dismiss the prime minister. So, the Republika Srpska is on the cusp of a president-parliamentary and premier-presidential form of semi-presidentialism.

The Republika Srpska was proclaimed in 1992. It was officially recognised in the Dayton Accords of 1995. The UN-appointed High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina has played a major role in the area since this time, including the dismissal of at least one president in the late 1990s.

Previous posts in this series:

Turkish Republic of North Cyprus
Palestinian National Authority