High representative says Bosnian gov't becoming more divided, ineffective

09:14, November 12, 2010      

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Valentin Inzko, high representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, said here Thursday that the country must get rid of "stagnation and internal disagreements " if it wants reform and integration into regional bodies like the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization ( NATO).

"Let me underline, that Bosnia and Herzegovina, in order to become fully sustainable and to move towards Euro-Atlantic integration, will need political leaders that are ready to change the way they conduct politics," Inzko said. "Zero sum politics will need to be replaced by politics based on compromise and a readiness to meet each other half way."

Inzko made the statement at an open UN Security Council debate on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a region that has experienced ethnic divisions since it broke away from the former Yugoslavia in 1992. Violence followed, until the Dayton Accords were signed in 1995, creating a multi-ethnic government with a rotating presidency.

"While there was substantial progress in the first 11 years after the war -- in the last four years there has been stagnation and time has been largely wasted," Inzko said. "The fundamentals of the country and its institutions, including the constitutional framework, have been challenged on a regular basis."

Inzko said that stagnation has increased in the state-level parliament, as the latest parliament passed one-third less legislation than the one preceding it and rejected many more proposed laws.

He said that political entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina have furthered unilateral actions in the government by passing and adopting laws without regard for the state or other parties.

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