By a vote of 23-19, Bosnia’s lower house of parliament voted to confirm the appointment of Borjana Kristo as the country’s first female prime minister. The veteran Croat politician, a representative of the center-right Croatian Democratic Union had previously served as the 8th president of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2007 to 2011. She was also the first woman to hold that position.
Lawmakers from the ten political parties that combined won 24 seats in the country’s October election agreed, despite ideological differences, to form a multi-ethnic coalition government. Kristo now has 35 days to form a Cabinet, which must also receive parliamentary approval. As ordained in the country’s constitution, the government must include representatives of each of the country’s three main ethnic groups – Bosnians, Croats, and Serbs.
For the first time in more than a decade, the governing majority will exclude the main Bosnian Islamist party, the Party of Democratic Action (SDA). The new coalition will be led by Kristo’s Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Serbian nationalist party, the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), led by pro-Russian Serb leader Milorad Dodik.