Bosnia’s Federation Entity Finally Forms New Parliament

February 20, 2019
The larger of Bosnia's two entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, has formed a new parliament almost four months after the general elections – which could mean the country finally getting a new state government.

Parliament of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Photo: N1 

Months after the October 2018 elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the country’s Federation entity – one of two in the country – on Wednesday finally formed its House of Peoples, the upper chamber of parliament. It now has 55 appointed delegates out of a total of 58.

The last three will be appointed in the coming weeks, as the club of Serbian deputies is still missing those three. The clubs of Bosniak and Bosnian Croat deputies are already fully formed, as is the club of the Others – who represent those people who do not declare themselves members of main three ethnic groups in Bosnia.

At Wednesday’s session, according to the agenda, the Federation assembly should adopt a budget for 2019. Salaries and social benefits are currently on hold with no adopted budget, as BIRN has previously reported.

The new assembly should also appoint its delegates to the state-level House of Peoples.

Leaders of main parties in Bosnia, the [Bosniak] Party of Democratic Action, SDA, the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ and the [Serbian] Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, SNSD, are scheduled to hold a series of meeting this and next week.

It creates hope that a new Council of Ministers, a de facto state government for Bosnia, could be formed in March.

The delays have been largely down to the fact that Bosnia entered the October elections with a broken election law; the law lacked a mechanism to elect the Federation’s entity’s House of Peoples.

Under international pressure, Bosnia’s Central Election Commission, the CIK, in December averted a major legal and political deadlock by adopting a decision that fixed this problem.

But the country’s main Bosniak party, the SDA, challenged the decision before Bosnia’s Constitutional Court, which in February ruled that a ruling on this matter did not fall under its jurisdiction.

Mladen Lakic