Complaints over Political Hiring in Bosnia

Prosecutors in Bosnia and Herzegovina's Republika Srpska entity are investigating Bosnian Serb MP Jelena Doric following a complaint over her appointment as acting director of the entity's roads authority in apparent violation of a law concerning conflict of interest.

Under Republika Srpska law, MPs are not allowed to manage public companies, but the government in the mainly Serb-populated entity has a habit of appointing them in an acting capacity to get around the law.

"The problem is that the Conflict of Interest Committee considers that an acting director 'is not a director within the meaning of this law'," said Srdan Traljic, spokesman for the Bosnian branch of Transparency International.

"The government found a way to keep the majority of directors of public companies in that acting position," he told BIRN. "They have been held in the position for many years, thus avoiding the provisions of this law, avoiding public tenders and [the government] has greater political control over them because they can replace them at any time."

Banja Luka city councillor Milko Grmusa filed a complaint against Doric to the Prosecutor's Office on August 11 after the 35-year-old Socialist Party MP publicly admitted she had been appointed to post of acting Executive Director of Roads of Republika Srpska and, again in an acting capacity, to the Board of Directors of the Agency for Mediation, Information and Financial Services, APIF.

The prosecutor's office told Nezavisne novine: "That case has been assigned to the acting prosecutor, who will take all legally prescribed actions within his jurisdiction."

The Republika Srpska Law on Public Enterprises also prohibits members of the executive bodies of political parties from taking the helm of...

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