Željko Komšić

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Željko Komšić
Željko Komšić.jpg
Member of the House of Representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Assumed office
9 December 2014
Constituency 3rd electoral district
6th Croat Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina
In office
6 November 2006 – 17 November 2014
Prime Minister Adnan Terzić
Nikola Špirić
Vjekoslav Bevanda
Preceded by Ivo Miro Jović
Succeeded by Dragan Čović
Chairmen of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina
In office
10 July 2013 – 10 March 2014
Prime Minister Vjekoslav Bevanda
Preceded by Nebojša Radmanović
Succeeded by Bakir Izetbegović
In office
10 July 2011 – 10 March 2012
Prime Minister Nikola Špirić
Vjekoslav Bevanda
Preceded by Nebojša Radmanović
Succeeded by Bakir Izetbegović
In office
6 July 2009 – 6 March 2010
Prime Minister Nikola Špirić
Preceded by Nebojša Radmanović
Succeeded by Haris Silajdžić
In office
6 July 2007 – 6 March 2008
Prime Minister Nikola Špirić
Preceded by Nebojša Radmanović
Succeeded by Haris Silajdžić
Mayor of Novo Sarajevo
In office
2004 – 6 November 2006
In office
2000–2001
Bosnia and Herzegovina Ambassador to Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
In office
2001–2003
Presidency Beriz Belkić, Dragan Čović, Jozo Križanović, Živko Radišić, Mirko Šarović and Sulejman Tihić
Speaker of the City Council of Sarajevo
In office
1998–2000
Personal details
Born (1964-01-20) 20 January 1964 (age 53)
Sarajevo, SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, SFR Yugoslavia
Nationality Croat
Political party Democratic Front (2013–present)
Other political
affiliations
Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1997–2013)
Residence Novo Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Alma mater University of Sarajevo
Military service
Allegiance  Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Service/branch Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Years of service 1992–1995
Battles/wars Bosnian War
Awards Golden Lily

Željko Komšić (born 20 January 1964) is a Bosnian politician who served as the Croat member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2006 to 2014. Komšić was a prominent figure of the Social Democratic Party until he left it in 2012 to join the Democratic Front.

Although elected to the post of Croat member of the tri-partitive presidency, many Bosnian Croats considered him to be an illegitimate representative of their interests as he was elected mostly by Bosniak voters in the Federation,[1] a Bosniak-Croat political entity which forms about half of the country.

Personal life and education[edit]

Komšić was born in Sarajevo to a Bosnian Croat father, Marko, and Bosnian Serb mother Danica (née Stanić; 1941 – 1 August 1992), who was killed by a sniper as she sipped coffee in her apartment during the Siege of Sarajevo.[2] His maternal grandfather Marijan Stanić, who was a Chetnik during World War II, died two years before Komšić was born.[3][unreliable source?][not in citation given] The Stanić family hailed from the village Kostajnica by Doboj.[4]

Komšić has a law degree from University of Sarajevo. He is married to Sabina, an ethnic Bosniak, a civil engineer. The couple has a daughter named Lana.[5]

Bosnian war[edit]

During the Bosnian war, he served in the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and received the Golden Lily — the highest military decoration awarded by the Bosnian-Herzegovinian government.[6] [7]

Political career[edit]

After the war, Komšić embarked on a political career as a member of the Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina (SDP-BiH). He was a councilman of the municipality of Novo Sarajevo and in the city council of Sarajevo, before being elected the head of the municipal government of Novo Sarajevo in 2000. He then also served as the deputy mayor of Sarajevo for two years. When the "Alliance for Democratic Change" coalition came to power in 1998, Komšić was named the ambassador to the now defunct Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in Belgrade. He resigned this commission after the election in 2002 when SDP went back into opposition.

First term presidency[edit]

Komšić was SDP's candidate for the Croatian seat in the Presidency in the Bosnia and Herzegovina general election, 2006. He received 116,062 votes, or 39.6%[8] ahead of Ivo Miro Jović (HDZ; 26.1%), Božo Ljubić (HDZ 1990; 18.2%), Mladen Ivanković-Lijanović (NSRB; 8.5%), Zvonko Jurišić (HSP; 6.9%) and Irena Javor-Korjenić (0.7%).[8] He was sworn into office on 1 October 2006. His victory was widely attributed[by whom?][dubious ] to a split in the HDZ-BiH party, enabling the SDP to win a majority of the Bosniaks votes.[citation needed] Croats see him as an illegitimate representative of the Bosnian Croats because he was elected mostly by Bosniak voters.[1]

In May 2008, the Bosniak Member of the State Presidency, Haris Silajdžić, stated during his visit to Washington D. C. that there is only one language in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that it goes by three names. His statement created negative reactions from Croat political parties and, at the time, Prime Minister of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik. Komšić replied to Silajdžić that he is not the one who will decide how many languages are being spoken in Bosnia and Herzegovina.[9]

According to a study conducted by the National Democratic Institute in 2010, Komšić was the most popular politician among the Bosniaks.[10]

Second term presidency[edit]

At the 2010 general election, Komšić won 337,065 votes, 60.6% of total. He was followed by Borjana Krišto (HDZ; 19.7%), Martin Raguž (HK; 10.8%), Jerko Ivanković-Lijanović (NSRB; 8.1%), Pero Galić (0.3%), Mile Kutle (0.2%) and Ferdo Galić (0.2%).[11]

Komšić's electoral win in 2010 is highly contested by Croatian political representatives and generally seen as electoral fraud. Namely, every citizen in the Federation can decide whether to vote for a Bosniak or a Croat representative. However, since Bosniaks make up 70% of Federation's population and Croats only 22%, a candidate running to represent Croats in the Presidency can be effectively elected even without a majority among the Croat community - if enough Bosniak voters decide to vote on a Croat ballot. This happened in 2006 and in 2010, when Komšić, an ethnic Croat, backed by multiethnic Social-Democrat Party, won the elections with very few Croat votes.[12][13] In 2010 he didn't win in a single municipality that had Croat-majority or plurality; nearly all of these went to Borjana Krišto. Bulk of the votes Komšić received came from predominantly Bosniak areas and he fared quite poorly in Croat municipalities, supported by less than 2,5% of the electorate in a number of municipalities in Western Herzegovina, such as Široki Brijeg, Ljubuški (0,8%), Čitluk, Posušje and Tomislavgrad, while not being able to gain not even 10% in a number of others.[14] Komšić received over seven thousand votes from the Bosniak-majority municipality Kalesija, where a total of 20 Croats live. Furthermore, total Croat population in whole of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina was then estimated around 495,000;[15] Komšić received 336,961 votes alone, while all other Croat candidates won 230,000 votes altogether. Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina consider him to be an illegitimate representative and generally treat him as a second Bosniak member of the presidency.[16][17][18][19] This raised frustration among Croats, undermined their trust in federal institutions and empowered claims for their own entity or a federal unit.[20]

Although Krišto won majority of Croat votes in 2010 elections while Komšić won very few Croat votes, thanks to Bosniak votes, Komšić was still elected the Croat member of the Presidency.[20][16]
Relative majority by municipality for presidential election in the Federation.
  Komšić
  Krišto
Komšić's 2010 election results as a share of total votes cast in each municipality. Note that Komšić did not win more than 15% of votes in a single Croat-majority municipality
Ethnic composition of municipalities. Croat-majority/plurality municipalities, where 75% of Croats live, in shades of orange

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ a b Berglund 2013, p. 501.
  2. ^ "In Little Bosnia, a gift from immigrants". St. Louis Today. 30 September 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2016. 
  3. ^ Simić, S. (15 November 2009). "Verovali ili ne: Četnički koreni zlatnog ljiljana?". Press Online. Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "Hrvat Željko Komšić potomak četničkog vojvode". Telegraf. 20 August 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2016. 
  5. ^ "Sabina Komsic". 
  6. ^ Željko Komšić - član predsjedništva BIH iz reda hrvatskog naroda - Biografija:
  7. ^ Southeast European Times - ZeljkoKomsic - Member of the Presidency, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  8. ^ a b "Opći izbori 2006 - potvrđeni rezultati: hrvatski član Predsjedništva" (in Bosnian). Central Election Committee of BiH. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "Komšić: U BiH se ne govori samo jedan jezik" (in Croatian). Klix. 26 May 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  10. ^ "Najpopularniji Komšić, HDZ raste, pad SDA". Večernji list (in Croatian). 20 May 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2010. 
  11. ^ "Potvrđeni rezultati Općih izbora 2010. godine: Predsjedništvo BiH - Hrvatski član" (in Croatian). Central Election Committee of BiH. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  12. ^ Andrew MacDowall: "Dayton Ain’t Going Nowhere", Foreign Policy, 12th December 2015.
  13. ^ "News Analysis: Few surprises expected in Bosnian general elections". Xinhua. 3 October 2010. 
  14. ^ Central Electorate Commission, results in municipalities, 2010
  15. ^ U BiH ima 48,4 posto Bošnjaka, 32,7 posto Srba i 14, 6 posto Hrvata (Article on the preliminary report of 2013 census) Archived 31 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ a b International Crisis Group: Bosnia’s Future Europe, Report N°232, 10 July 2014
  17. ^ Vogel, T. K. (9 October 2006). "Bosnia: From the Killing Fields to the Ballot Box". The Globalist. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  18. ^ Pavić, Snježana (8 October 2010). "Nije točno da Hrvati nisu glasali za Željka Komšića, u Grudama je dobio 124 glasa". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  19. ^ "Reforma Federacije uvod je u reformu izbornog procesa" (in Croatian). Dnevno. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  20. ^ a b Luka Oreskovic: "Doing Away with Et Cetera", Foreign Policy. 30 October 2013
Bibliography
  • Berglund, Sten (2013). The Handbook of Political Change in Eastern Europe. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. ISBN 9781782545880. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Ivo Miro Jović
Croat member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina
2006–2014
Succeeded by
Dragan Čović