AKI, Italy, June 11, 2005
Bosnia: Terzic criticized for sacking foreign minister
Sarajevo, June 9 (AKI) Bosnian prime minister Adnan Terzic, a Muslim, has triggered an avalanche of criticism for sacking Foreign Minister Mladen Ivanic, a Serb, in a struggle over appointment of the country's Agency for Investigation and Security (SIPA) chief. Terzic on Tuesday activated Ivanic’s resignation, submitted last December over problems which have been overcome in the meantime, but Ivanic refused to withdraw. Terzic said Ivanic was blocking the work of SIPA, by insisting on his own candidate.
However Paddy Ashdown, the high representative of the international community in Bosnia, who has wide arbitrary powers, came to the defense of Ivanic and appointed his candidate Sredoje Novic on Wednesday. The quarrel highlighted ethnic divisions in the country which are, according to the latest report of the Bosnian ombudsman, greater than ever.
"It is no secret that I had disagreed with prime minister Terzic's decision and suggested to him not to do it," Ashdown told a press conference in Sarajevo. He warned Terzic that his work as Prime Minister would be judged based on how he finds the "exit from this spring madness."
"At this point I’m only interested whether the reforms will continue or whether they would be wiped out by political games and personal conflicts," said Ashdown.
Politicians in Republika Srpska, a Bosnian Serb entity, were unanimous in condemning Terzic’s move and Nevenka Trifkovic, a high official of Ivanic’s Party of Democratic Progress (PDP), said the attempt was illegal.
"It is not just an attack on Ivanic and PDP, but on Republika Srpska and Serbian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina", she said.
Even Nebojsa Radmanovic, an official of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, Ivanic’s archrivals, suggested that Terzic should resign and thus "show a drop of political wisdom."