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Political system of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Political systems in South-Eastern Europe POL 482 Věra St ojarová. Ethnic composition of BiH. 44 \% Bosniaks (Muslims) 31 \% Serbs 17 \% Croats. 31st July 1990.

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political system of bosnia and herzegovina

Political system of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Political systems in South-Eastern Europe

POL 482

Věra Stojarová

ethnic composition of bih

Ethnic composition of BiH

44 % Bosniaks (Muslims)

31 % Serbs

17 % Croats

31st july 1990

31st July 1990

BiH was declared as sovereign and democratic state in order to pursue the confederation model for Yugoslavia

The parliament declared the indivisibility of the land

The qualified majority of voters in referenda needed for change of the borders

15th october 1991

15th October 1991

Declaration of independence

29th february 1992

29th February 1992

Referendum about the independence – 63,4 % voters voted for

Serbs boycotted the referendum

position towards the independent bih

Position towards the independent BiH

Serbs and Croats endeavoured the partition of BiH

Serbs constituted the Serbian Republic (Republika srpska)

Croats declared their state as well – Herzeg Bosna

war in bih

War in BiH

The latent conflict escalated in a war (1992) which lasted up to 1995

dayton peace agreement

Dayton Peace Agreement

Negotiated in Dayton, signed in Paris 14th December 1995, signed by Milošević, Tudjman and Izetbegović, The Constitution of BiH was included in Annex IV. Of the Dayton Peace Agreement

bih composed of 2 entities

BiH – composed of 2 Entities

the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (51 %) and the Republic of Srpska (49 %). All citizens of either Entity are thereby citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

article v of dayton peace agreement presidency

Article V of Dayton Peace Agreement: Presidency

The Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall consist 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 Republic of Srpska.

the presidency shall have responsibilities for

The Presidency shall have responsibilities for:

(a) Conducting the foreign policy of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

(b) Appointing ambassadors and other international representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, no more than two-thirds of whom may be selected from the territory of the Federation.

(c) Representing Bosnia and Herzegovina in international and European organizations and institutions and seeking membership in such organizations and institutions of which Bosnia and Herzegovina is not a member.

(d) Negotiating, denouncing, and, with the consent of the Parliamentary Assembly, ratifying treaties of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

(e) Executing decisions of the Parliamentary Assembly.

(f) Proposing, upon the recommendation of the Council of Ministers, an annual budget to the Parliamentary Assembly.

(g) Reporting as requested, but not less than annually, to the Parliamentary Assembly on expenditures by the Presidency.

(h) Coordinating as necessary with international and nongovernmental organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

(i) 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.

annex 7 agreement on refugees and displaced persons

 ANNEX 7Agreement on Refugees and Displaced Persons

All refugees and displaced persons have the right freely to return to their homes of origin. They shall have the right to have restored to them property of which they were deprived in the course of hostilities since 1991 and to be compensated for any property that cannot be restored to them. The early return of refugees and displaced persons is an important objective of the settlement of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Parties confirm that they will accept the return of such persons who have left their territory, including those who have been accorded temporary protection by third countries.

annex 10 article v dayton peace agreement final authority to interpret

Annex 10. Article V. Dayton Peace Agreement. : Final Authority to Interpret

The High Representative is the final authority in theater regarding interpretation of this Agreement on the civilian implementation of the peace settlement.

Miroslav Lajčák since July 2007

Christian Schwarz-Schilling31 January 2006 – July 2007

Paddy Ashdown27 May 2002 - 31 January 2006

Wolfgang PetritschAugust 1999 - 27 May 2002  

Carlos WestendorpJune 1997 - July 1999

Carl BildtDecember 1995 - June 1997  

conflicts between the international community and the local leaders

Conflicts between the International Community and the local leaders

The conflicts have been quite frequent:

5.5.1999 was dismissed president of Republic of SrpskaNicola Poplasen (extreme Serbian nationalist) by Carlos Westendorp

AFter the dismissal of Poplasen, the vicepresident Mirko Sarović refused to accept his presidential post and the presidency was left vacant.

Next tensions appeared, when the internationals recognized the status of Brčko as independent districts, while the RS wanted to include Brčko within RS. According to the decision of IC, Brčko shall be multiethnic district, which shall not belong to any entiny.

In 2001 another conflict – Ante Jelavić was dismissed by OHR after he had declared his own Croatian government.



All elections in BiH were dominated by the parties, which were at the break of the war. The international community was pushing to build non-nationalistic coalistion after the elections 2000 – the Alliance for Change was composed of 10 noncoherent political parties and it was clear from the beginning that it will fail. The noncoherence and inability of this coalition led to the victory of nationalistic parties in 2002.

The Alliance for change was accused of insufficent support of Bosniaks or better to say of the support of Croats and Serbs. Three incidents caused this perception:

Case of Algerian Group – the government complied with the US demands to give into USA 6 inhabitants of BiH of Algerian origin, who were suspected of the attack on US ambassy in Sarajevo.

Leader of SDP Zlatko Lagumdzija was having a speech at the demonstration of the bosniaks war veterans. The protestation ended in the riots and the Lagumdzija likened them to the serbian rioters in Banja Luka in 2001, which were protesting against the building of a new mosque. Lagumdzija was presented as a traitor of Bosniaks.

April 2002 – 5 politicians of SDA were arrested while being suspected for the organisation of the iran training camp for terrorists in Mt. Pogorelica in 1996. They were released on a bail right before the elections and therefore could have claimed to be martyrs and the victims of the 2000 government.


The situation before the elections was influenced by the Decision of the Constitutional court, which led to Sarajevo agreement:

The Constitutional court declared already in 2000 the invalidity of certain articles in the Constitution of the Republic of Srpska: The preambule of the Constitution of RS stated:

„The RS is a state of Serbian nation“

„Taking the natural and democratic right, will and determination of the Serb people from Republika Srpska into account to link its State completely and tightly with other States of the Serb people“.

The Constitutional Court decided, that its clear evidence, that RS wants to secede and integrate with Serbia and that RS has to change these articles, which would lead in effect into building of multiethnic BiH


Republic of Srpska

Serbia Monte Negro

Serbia: the plain tricolour as the national flag, the tricolour with coat of arms as the state flag

The flag with 4 S is often used, but unofficially.

Само слога Србина спашава

in lat. Samo sloga Srbina spašava

(Only Unity can save the Serbs)"


the decision of the constitutional court led to the sarajevo agreement signed 27th of may 2002

The Decision of the Constitutional Court led to the Sarajevo Agreement signed 27th of May 2002:

The Sarajevo agreement stated the principles, which shall be ammended to all the constitutions. The Sarajevo agreement unprecedently modified the Dayton Peace Agreement:

The Article 4: The national representation in all the institutions must reflect the proportion of the population according to the census from 1991.

This article is unrealistic and is ignored by all sides.

Political system in BiH according to the Sarajevo agreement, which modified the Dayton Peace agreement:


  • Presidency: each entity shall have 1 representative, 4 years.
  • Government: Council of ministers appointed by the Presidency. Powers: foreign policy, foreign trade, tawes, monetary politics, financing of the institutions of BiH, foreign obligations, immigration, refugees, international law, penal law inbetween the entities, common infrastructure, air space control.
  • Legislative: bicameral:

House of nations – 15 MPs, 5 from each entity, delegates elected by the parliaments of RS and FBiH

House of representatives: 42 MPs, 2/3 (28) elected directly in FBiH, 1/3 (14) in RS

Both chambers elect their common presidency, system of rotation.

  • Constitutional court: 9 members, 4 are nominated by the House of representatives FBiH, 2 by national assembly RS, 3 by the chair of the European court for human rights (must not be the inhabitants of BiH or the neighbouring state, nominated for 5 years)


  • President rotates with 2 vice-presidents, elected by the House of representatives, president nominates the government, he is consulted with the nominationof ombudsman and judges, sighns laws and international treaties, grants amnesties ( with exclusion of the war crimes and genocide)
  • Government: prime minister and deputy prime minister, ministers and their deputy prime ministers which must not be from the same nation as the prime ministers. 8 Bosniacs, 5 Croats, 3 Serbs.
  • Legislative: House of representatives : 98 MPs, 4 Years, direct vot, 73 proportional systém, 25 compensatory mandates.
  • House of nations: 58 MPs, 17 from each nation and 7 seats for the minorities)
  • Constitutional court 9 judges


  • President with 2 vice-presidents from all nations, direct vote, president proposes the prime minister, the NAtional assembly approves the government
  • Government 8 Serbs, 5 Bosniacs 3 Croats.
  • National assembly 83 MPs, direct vote, 4 years.
  • The Council of Nations consists of 28 representatives delegated by the National Assembly (eight Croats, eight Bosniacs, eight Serbs, and four others).
  • Constitutional court: 7 judges, elected for 8 years, once.
elections 2002 failure of multiethnic state and dayton

Elections 2002 – failure of multiethnic state and Dayton??

House of representatives – 14 political parties

Government composed of SDA, HDZ,SDS,PDP, SBiH

House of representatives of FBiH: SDA and HDZ won (32 resp. 16 mandates)

FBiH Government composed of SDA,HDZ,SBiH

National assembly of RS: SDS 26,SNSD 19, SDA 6, SBiH 4, SRS 4, SDP 3, SPRS 3, DNS 3, other 14 parties 1 mandate each.

RS Government : SDS, SDA, PDP

elections 2006

elections - 2006

administered for the very first time by the domestic authorities with foreign observation.

The political landscape in BiH remains largely divided along ethnic lines,

Key contests occurred mainly among political parties that competed with one another in their own ethnic communities.

In contrast, some parties, including the Social Democratic Party (SDP), tried to present a more multi-ethnic profile.

Bosnia and Herzegovina introduced the direct election of mayors at regional and municipal elections held in October 2004.

results of the elections into the parliament of fbih in october 2006

Results of the elections into the parliament of FBiH in October 2006

Name of the party, number of votes, mandates, direct mandates, compensatory mandates:

SDA-STRANKA DEMOKRATSKE AKCIJE 218.365 25,45%28   23   5  

STRANKA ZA BOSNU I HERCEGOVINU 190.148 22,16 %24   19   5  


HDZ-HRVATSKA KOALICIJA-HNZ,HSP 64.906 7,56 %8   7   1  



PATRIOTSKI BLOK BOSS - SDU BIH 27.200 3,17 %3   1   2  


Results of the elections into the parliament of RS in October 2006Name of the party, number of votes, mandates, direct mandates, compensatory mandates:


SDS-SRPSKA DEMOKRATSKA STRANKA 103.035 18,27 %17   13   4  


DEMOKRATSKI NARODNI SAVEZ-DNS 22.780 4,04 %4   3   1  

STRANKA ZA BOSNU I HERCEGOVINU 22.642 4,01 %4   1   3  

SP-SOCIJALISTIČKA PARTIJA 20.031 3,55 %3   3    

SDA-STRANKA DEMOKRATSKE AKCIJE 19.137 3,39 %3   1   2  





Is the endeavour of the international community to build the multiethnic society right/feasible?

Does BiH in its current shape have a future?

Would not be better to divide Bosnia? If Yes – How?

Would not be better to build nation states in the Balkans – Greater Serbia, Greater Croatia etc.?

Should the international community withdraw from BiH or stay?

What do u think about the US – stepping into the war, ending it and then withdrawing leaving the job on the EU?

  • Who is guilty?
  • Who was right?
  • What happened?
  • Who attacked whom?
  • Who is victim and who is culprit?
  • Who is good and who is bad?
  • What is just and what is unjust?
  • How did you behave in WWII?
  • How did you behave in the Balkan wars 1912-1913?
  • Istina/truth