BiH leaders reach an agreement on the formation of the new Council of Ministers

Dodik, Izetbegović and Čović sign the agreement; Photo: HDZ BiH

SARAJEVO – Presidents of the three strongest parties in the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik, Bakir Izetbegović and Dragan Čović, have signed an agreement laying out the principles for the formation of the new Council of Ministers, ten months after the elections had taken places.

The agreement will last 30 days and will be considered invalid if the Council of Ministers, which is equivalent to the national government in BiH’s complex political system, is not formed until then. The Chairman of the Council is going to be a member of Dodik’s SNSD, as well as Ministers for Foreign Trade and Communications and Transport, Nezavisne report.

On the other hand, Izetbegović’s SDA will get the portfolios of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security, while HDZ BiH will receive the Ministries of Finance, Justice and Civilian Affairs.

One of the main obstacles to the formation of the new Council of Ministers has been BiH’s accession process to NATO, which is opposed by SNSD. The agreement thus contains a provision on this issue, stipulating that the leaders support improvement of relations with NATO, without prejudice to future decisions on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s membership. Each activity related to this issue will be made in accordance with the decisions of the Presidency of BiH (of which Dodik is a member), Parliamentary Assembly and the Council of Ministers.

Other provisions of the agreement include the respect for the Dayton agreement, sovereignty and territorial integrity of BiH and implementation of the verdicts of domestic and international courts with regards to the Election Law.

“SNSD will block the work of all institutions if the Council of Ministers is not formed in the span of one month, and no international or European institution will be able to help”, Dodik stressed upon signing the agreement.