Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/04/2013 -- Bosnia & Herzegovina spent most of 2011 in turmoil after an inconclusive general election result in October 2010 left the country's political leaders squabbling over how best to form a coalition for the best part of 14 months, only resolving the issue in late December 2011 and electing a new government in February 2012. The political parties representing the country's three ethnic groups - Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats - agreed to share power and distribute ministerial posts fairly among themselves, with Vjekoslav Bevanda of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) appointed Prime Minister and the presidency rotating between the parties every eight months (in accordance with the 1995 Dayton Peace Accord). However, cracks began to emerge in 2012, not least in the form of infighting between the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) and Social Democratic Party (SDP) over the right to represent the country's Muslim population. Their infighting and the SDA's refusal to vote for the 2012 state budget culminated in parliament voting to remove Deputy Finance Minister Fuad Kasumovic, Security Minister Sadik Ahmetovic and Defence Minister Muhamed Ibrahimovic as punishment in mid-October 2012 and could ultimately lead HDZ, the country's leading Croat party, to assume the SDA's position in the ruling coalition. Bosnia suddenly seems no further forward in its quest for political harmony than it was when the polls first closed in 2010. Its hopes of following other former Yugoslavian states into the EU seem even more remote.
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The Bosnian government was about to begin debating Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik's controversial proposal that the country abolish its armed forces altogether at the time of writing in late October 2012. 'Bosnia & Herzegovina has a bulky military machine that spends too much money and doesn't give any results,' Dodik's original proposal stated. The motion is set to be supported in parliament by the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats. Its president, Zeijko Mirjanic argues that Bosnia & Herzegovina does not currently need an army because of the ongoing presence of NATO soldiers in the territory and the legal obligation placed on neighbouring Croatia and Serbia to keep the peace following the horrific war of 1992-95. Mirjanic suggested that the expense involved in maintaining armed forces could be better used by investing it in the country's recovering economy - still at risk from the knock-on effects of the eurozone's sovereign debt crisis. Bosnia only formed a unified military in 2006 and opponent Safet Halilovic said he felt the initiative was unlikely to win support.
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