...and about time it was.
Prime Minister Adnan Terzic of Bosnia and Herzegovina today dismissed the country's Foreign Minister, Mladen Ivanic, by accepting a resignation Ivanic had tendered in December last year. The move came amid mounting indications that early elections might be called to solve political gridlock.
The government has been in permanent crisis over a range of issues for months, most recently appointments to new central-level security forces. Its reform program also came under pressure when the EU put moves towards closer integration on hold due to Republika Srpska's refusal to consider a central police force whose administrative regions would not coincide with the current boundaries between the two "entities" that make up Bosnia.
Ivanic, who represents a supposedly moderate Serb party, has vowed to continue with his duties and disputes that the premier can sack him without parliamentary approval, according to press reports. Ivanic's party issued a statement that read in part, "The self-proclaimed and self-styled prime minister of Bosnia-Hercegovina, Adnan Terzic, in his sheer desire to build
Bosnia-Hercegovina for himself and one nation [i.e., the Muslims or Bosnjaks], is without any reservation violating the Bosnia-Hercegovina Constitution and the Law on the Council of Ministers forgetting about the scope and responsibilities of his post."
Terzic said the dismissal was necessary because Ivanic was obstructing government appointments, forcing the international high representative to step in. BH Radio 1 on 7 June quoted Terzic as saying that it would be "disastrous for Bosnia" to "forcibly and thoughtlessly strip the high representative of his Bonn competences," which allow him to sack officials whose activities obstruct implementation of the Dayton accords.
The Bonn powers have come under pressure from several sides; applied in a more transparent manner, they still seem to be quite necessary. What will those say who've been maintaining that the high rep was nothing but a foreign interloper and that Bosnia's politicians were perfectly capable of dealing with the issues on their own? Maybe they can find some silly quote from Hobbes or Machiavelli to support their position?
Ivanic, by the way, is a little p. of s. (That's my personal, unscientific, and quite possibly libelous view.) Foreigners have fallen for his passable English, good manners, intellectual pretense, and measured words for much too long.