PM’s Dual Role as Speaker Draws Criticism in Bosnia

Political observers and ethnic Croat parties in Bosnia have criticised the fact that the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the de facto state government, Denis Zvizdic, is to take over as speaker of the House of Representatives in the state parliament as well.

As the divided politicians in Bosnia have still not formed a state-level government, Zvizdic will still be in charge of the Council of Ministers. He was elected to the House of Representatives - one of two chambers in the parliament - in the elections held in Bosnia last October.

"This is an unreal situation, but it is real in Bosnia - that the same person is in charge of both the executive and legislative branches," Vehid Sehic, a political analyst and former president of the Bosnian Central Election Commission, told BIRN.

"This violates the constitutional principle that the legislature should exercise control over the executive. But this is Bosnia, so everything is possible here. I do not know that there is another example of this anywhere in Europe," he added.

Bosnian election law itself predicts this possibility, as it allows one person to be part of the executive and legislative branches until such time as the executive bodies elected under regular elections are constituted.

"The election Law states that one person can temporarily hold office in the executive and legislative branches, so the law is not being violated," Sehic conceded. "But the question is whether that provision is in line with the constitution."

Zvizdic has made it clear that he has no intention of giving up either position.

"Under current legislation, if I did not do the job of speaker of parliament, I would be breaking the law. I want always to be governed by...

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