Bosnian Parliment Names Candidates
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) _ Parliament’s lower house on Tuesday proposed two new candidates for the three-member Bosnian state presidency, replacing a retired Muslim and a Croat nationalist fired for trying to fragment the country.
Beriz Belkic, a Muslim and the former head of the Sarajevo cantonal government, was proposed to replace Alija Izetbegovic, who led Muslims through the 1991-1995 war and retired in October halfway through his term.
Belkic is a member of the Party for Bosnia-Herzegovina, established by former Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic. He is known for his successful efforts to have Serb and Croat refugees return to Sarajevo after the war.
Jozo Krizanac was proposed to replace Ante Jelavic _ the Croat member heading the hard-line Croat Democratic Union.
Jelavic was fired earlier this month by the country’s top international official, Wolfgang Petritsch, after going against the constitution by leading a campaign to create a separate ethnic Croat mini-state in Bosnia. Petritsch oversees compliance with the 1995 peace agreement that ended the Bosnian war.
Jelavic was also barred from holding any other elected post. Any move to create a separate state within Bosnia would have violated the peace accord.
Krizanovic, a successful businessman from central Bosnia, is a member of the election winners, the Social Democrats.
Belkic and Krizanac still have to be approved by the upper house of the Bosnian state parliament.
Bosnian Serb Zivko Radisic remains the only original member of the presidency, after being elected two years ago with Izetbegovic and Jelavic to lead the country for four years.