2014-10-13 18:52:00

Challenges facing election winners in Bosnia-Herzegovina

(Vatican Radio) A Muslim leader in Bosnia-Herzegovina has been re-elected to the the Balkan nation's tripartite presidency, with pledges to keep the ethnically divided nation united.

Bakir Izetbegović announced plans to move closer to the West following Sunday's ballot, in which voters also elected a new central parliament and assemblies for the country's two semi-autonomous Serb and Muslim-Croat regions. Regional correspondent Stefan Bos reports:


Supporters celebrated that 58-year-old Izetbegović will represent the majority, Muslim Bosniaks, in the three-person presidency. Car horns and fireworks reverberated throughout the streets of Sarajevo.

 Izetbegović will share the presidency with nationalists of the mainly Catholic Croats and Orthodox Serbs.

The politician stressed however that he wanted to turn the country into a strong unified state.

"Moving Bosnia-Herzegovina out of a reform standstill, and putting it towards  European Union and NATO military alliance integration, while fighting against corruption and crime," are key priorities, he said. 

Izetbegović saw much hardship. His late father, Alija Izetbegović, tried to lead the nation through the three-year Bosnian war which left 100,000 people dead. It ended in 1995 following a U.S.-backed peace accord.

Yet with 44 percent unemployment and nationalist leaders seeking their own mini-states, critics say the party may soon be over in what is regarded as one of Europe's poorest, and corrupt, nations.

All the contents on this site are copyrighted ©.