Bosnian PM Appointed, Signalling End to Impasse

The tripartite presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina appointed Bosnian Serb Zoran Tegeltija as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, effectively the country's prime minister, on Monday after more than a year of wrangling between the three main nationalist parties, Bosnian media reported.

The appointment clears the way for the establishment of the state government, after media reported that the leaders of the biggest Bosniak, Serb and Croat parties had overcome disagreement on the next steps in integrating with NATO.

Zeljko Komsic, the Croat member of the Bosnian presidency briefly said an agreement was reached on Bosnia's Annual National Programme, which the Western alliance requires as a condition for activating the Membership Action Plan, MAP.

"The document goes to Brussels, Tegeltija has been appointed," Komsic said for Bosnian media.

Tegeltija, a former finance minister of Bosnia's mainly Serb Republika Srpska entity, is a member of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, SNSD, led by Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of Bosnia's tripartite presidency.

Dodik, Bosniak leader Bakir Izetbegovic and Croat leader Dragan Covic had been at loggerheads for months over whether to activate the country's NATO Membership Action Plan, MAP, a prerequisite for any eventual accession to the military alliance, blocking formation of the government.

Dodik opposed submitting the so-called Annual National Plan for MAP. Bosnian Serbs on the whole oppose NATO accession.

But Bosnian media reported that a Reform Programme of the Annual National Plan would be submitted, though it was not immediately clear what this might mean.

The decision to appoint Tegeltija will be forwarded to the Commission of Bosnia's House of Representatives for...

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