25 January 2011
Having blogged as much about Bosnia and Herzegovina as I have I reckon I owe an update on what is happening in the country in regard to the events I had previously mentioned.
The government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has not been formed yet. The SDP-SDA coalition with its minor Croat satellites has been agreed on long ago, however any Federation government needs to be confirmed by the House of Peoples of the Federation, which has not jet held its inaugural session.
The House of Peoples is the normally less visible chamber of the bicameral Federal parliament where an equal number of seats are reserved for Croats, 'Bosniaks' and Serbs. It has not jet been constituted since complications in one of the electoral units have meant the final composition of the House of Peoples is not jet known.
So far it seems the SDP-SDA coalition will have just enough votes in the House of Peoples that would enable it to be confirmed the government of the Federation. To pass such a vote a coalition needs to secure six votes from the seventeen representatives of each of the three nationalities. The nominally Serb representatives in the House of Peoples are under majority control of the Muslim parties so the outcome there is not in question. Among the Croat representatives the coalition controls five Croatian seats. One is in the hand of NSRZB, a minor Croatian party, and four in the hands of SDP. The wild card is the Croatian seat held by DNZ, a small party associated with the famous Bosnian Muslim politican Fikret Abdić.
However the two Croat parties with non-marginal support among the Bosnian Croat voting body, are vowing to obstruct the work of the House of Peoples by not taking their seats in the chamber. Therefore regardless of the mathematical feasibility, it is doubtful the actual formation of the government will be anywhere as straightforward as that.