Bosnia inaugurates newly elected three-member presidency

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Bosnia on Wednesday inaugurated the three members of its new presidency, which for the first time in over a decade is dominated by non-sectarian leaders.

The three officials – representing the country’s Bosniak, Serb and Croat populations – took their oaths inside Sarajevo’s Presidency Building before several dozen ambassadors and politicians.

The presidency is part of the complex administration established in peace accords that ended Bosnia’s 1992-95 war by creating Bosniak-Croat and Serb entities joined by central institutions.

The presidential body holds little formal power but sets the tone of the country’s general policy. Its Bosniak, Croat and Serb members rotate as chairperson every eight months and make decisions by consensus.

The politicians inaugurated Wednesday were elected in an Oct. 2 general election.

They include Bosniak Denis Becirovic and Bosnian Croat Zeljko Komsic, from the multi-ethnic SDP and DF political parties, and Zeljka Cvijanovic from the sectarian Bosnian Serb party SNSD.

Civijanovic said in her inaugural speech that she was “assuming the post with good intentions and with hope that we will work for the benefit of both entities and all citizens,” regardless of their ethnicity.

A bid by nationalists to divide Bosnia along ethnic lines was at the core of the war that killed some 100,000 people and left millions homeless. The ethnic divisions remain alive despite Western efforts at reconciliation.

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