Živko Budimir in 1996
|9th President of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina|
17 March 2011 – 9 February 2015
|Prime Minister||Nermin Nikšić|
|Vice President||Mirsad Kebo Svetozar Pudarić|
|Preceded by||Borjana Krišto|
|Succeeded by||Marinko Čavara|
20 November 1962 |
(now Bosnia and Herzegovina)
|Political party||League of Communists of Yugoslavia (1979–1984)
Croatian Party of Rights (2006–2013)
Party of Justice and Trust (2013–present)
|Alma mater||War College "Ban Josip Jelačić"|
|Awards||Order of Nikola Šubić Zrinski|
|Allegiance|| Yugoslavia (1984–1986)
Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1994–2001)
|Years of service||1984–1986
|Rank|| Colonel General
|Unit||107th Wolves Brigade 5th Falcons Brigade ZP Tomislavgrad|
|Commands||ZP Prozor General Staff of VFBiH General Staff of HVO General Staff of Joint Command of VFBiH|
|Battles/wars||Croatian War of Independence
• Operation Storm
Živko Budimir (Croatian pronunciation: [ʒîːʋko bûdimiːr]; 20 November 1962) is a Bosnian politician serving as President of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the two autonomous entities that compose Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is also vice president of the Croatian Party of Rights of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Budimir become the President of the Federation after political crisis after the general election held in October 2010. Political parties were unable to form a government. In March 2011, Social Democratic Party, Party of Democratic Action, Croatian Party of Rights and People's Party Work for Betterment formed a coalition named the Platform (Platforma) in which Budimir was elected President of the Federation.
Živko Budimir was born in Vir near Posušje in Herzegovina. He attended the Aeronautical-Technical Military College in Rajlovac near Sarajevo from where he graduated in 1981. After that, he attended the War College of Armed Forces of Republic of Croatia "Ban Josip Jelačić", and graduated in 2000.
He became a member of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia in 1979 and left the party in 1984 as a member of the Yugoslav People's Army. He left the Yugoslav Army in 1986 due to disagreement with their policy.
After the Croatian War of Independence started, he joined the Croatian Army in Slavonia. At first, he was member of the Civil Protection, and later he was enlisted to the 5th Brigade of HV where he served in the logistics. In 1992 his unit arrived in Orašje where he became Deputy Commander of the battalion responsible for propaganda. In 1993 he became a member of the Croatian Defence Council (HVO). At first he was advisor for logistics, when he met Slobodan Praljak. Soon afterwards, Budimir was transferred to the remote control centre of Tomislavgrad military district. In December 1993, he replaced Praljak as commander of the remote control centre of Prozor military district. After that, he held various posts: he was Commander of General Staff of the Military of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina from April 1994 until July 1995, then Commander of the General Staff of the Croatian Defence Council from November 1995 until September 1997, and then Deputy Commander and afterwards Commander of the General Staff of the Joint Command of the Military of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina from September 1997 until January 1999. In 1997 he moved to Mostar, and retired in 2001 as Colonel General of the Federal Army and a Major General of the Croatian Army. After his retirement he was involved in sports and participated in restoration of the handball club "Mostar".
President of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
His political career started again in 2006, when he became a member of the Croatian Party of Rights of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2008 he was elected as a member of the City Council of Mostar.
After general election held in October 2010, political parties were unable to form a new government, leading the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina into a political crisis. Social Democratic Party, Party of Democratic Action, Croatian Party of Rights and People's Party Work for Betterment formed a new coalition named Platform. By a majority votes in both houses of the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Budimir was elected President of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 17 March 2011.
As a President of Federation he proposed a change of the Rules of Procedure of Government of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina so that no decision can't pass without agreement of one-third of Croatian ministers in government.
Conflict with Zukan Helez
In February 2012, Budimir entered into a conflict with Federal Minister of Veterans, Zukan Helez, because of the Audit Act of Veterans' Rights accusing Helez for historical revisionism and not taking care of veteran population. Helez claimed that Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina did not have camps on the territory they held and tried to abolish the status of inmates to persons who have been in ARBiH'S camps. This upset the veterans from the Croatian Defence Council and prisoners of those camps. Croatian Association of Inmates from Homeland War requested Helez's dismissal and accused him for crime hiding. Budimir made an appeal for review of constitutionality of Audit Act to the Constitutional Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On 11 April 2012, Budimir dissolved the Audit Team for Coordination made by Helez. He did so because review procedure of veterans was running illegally and without supervision of legal representatives of the Croatian Defence Council. However, on 23 May Federal government decided to continue with the Audit Act. Local branches of the HSP asked from party's presidency to support Budimir, but both HSP ministers in the Federal Government, Ante Krajina and Vjekoslav Čamber, supported the Audit Act.
During the crisis with the Audit Act, minister Helez detaily emphasised his activity on the HVO, a Croat military formation during the Bosnian War, thus putting Croat veterans in a difficult position, and moreover, he accused Budimir of being "a false general." On 18 December 2012, the Constitutional Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina made a decision that Helez's Audit Act is, however, unconstitutional. This decision of the Constitutional Court led Helez and the Prime Minister Nikšić in a difficult position, as the Constitutional Court embarrassed Helez for being subjective.
New political crisis
On 18 June 2012 the SDP made an agreement with the opposition party, the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HDZ BiH) about the reconstruction of the Federal as well as the state government. Marinko Čavara, Vice President of the HDZ BiH, stated that Social Democratic Party and HDZ BiH support the recunstruction of the Federal Government, which includes Budimir's removal from office. However, they don't have two thirds of members in parliament in order to impose this.
On 22 June 2012, after a session of the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Budimir accepted resignation of Desnica Radivojević of the Party of Democratic Action from his post as Minister of Trade. Later, Radivojević claimed that he never proposed his resignation. During a session, Social Democratic Party (SDP) ministers proposed removals in the management and supervisory boards of public companies that are owned by the Federation. It is taught that this move of SDP was made because SDP doesn't have control of those companies, and Radivojević would give them majority so this proposal can pass, even though Radivojević's party opposes such proposal. Radivojević himself stated that his removal is against the Constitution, while Prime Minister of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nikšić (SDP), stated that Budmir abused his position as president. However, on 12 July, the graphologist, prof. Esad Bilić, found that Radivojević's signature on resignation is authentic, while Radivojević's charge against Budimir was dismissed. On 10 October 2012 the Constitutional Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina made a decision that Budimir's acceptance of Radivojević's resignation is legal after SDP's Prime Minister Nikšić accused Budimir for illegal doing. Nevertheless, the Court said that Budimir should once again consider Radivojveić's will and the circumstances for the resignation. Budimir later said that there is no reason for him to change his decision.
The political crisis in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina started even before SDP's agreement with the HDZ BiH when SDA and SDP entered a conflict in May 2012. As a result, the Federal Parliament become ineffective whilst the Federal Government is still able to make unanimous decisions though with uncertainty and pressure. Budimir made a proposal in June and October to solve the crisis by calling a dissolution of the Federal Parliament and a new election.
On 5 November 2012, at the session of the HSP BiH of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, Budimir said that the HSP BiH will not leave the government until HSP BiH's goals are accomplished, namely a law on lustration and implementing inability to outvote Croat ministers in the government.
On 10 December, the Federal Prime Minister Nikšić made a request to Budimir to dismiss eight federal ministers, including the deputy prime minister. Those ministers are members of the Party of Democratic Action, the People's Party Work for Betterment and the Croatian Party of Rights. Nikšić explained his move by claiming that certain ministers do not have support in the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and that their presence in the government is damaging its function. However, Budimir decided to listen arguments of the 8 ministers, and meanwhile the Deputy Prime Minister Jerko Ivanković-Lijanović that was supposed to be removed from the office, complained to the Constitutional Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina that the Prime Minister Nikšić illegally proposed voting in the Federal Parliament for the 2013 budget. Due to this reason, on 20 December Budimir decided not to remove the 8 ministers from their posts.
On 27 December, Budimir made a decision to withdraw the decision on resignation of Desnica Radivojević. Budimir reassessed his decision as he was advised by the Federal Constitutional Court. In the official statement from his office, it is said that Budimir made this decision in the interest of the Bosnia and Herzegovina citizens and to secure normal functioning of the Federal Government.
On 27 February 2013, Budimir was awarded with honorary doctorate of public administration by the Sun Moon University in South Korea. Budimir was awarded for his contribution in promotion of world peace.
On 7 March 2013, Budimir announced on a press-conference that he left the HSP BiH due to lack of support during his conflict with minister of veterans Zukan Helez. He said that he will form a new political party that would be named "Party of Justice and Trust".
On 26 April 2013, Budimir was arrested under accusation that he was part of corrupt activities in Bosnia and Hercegovina. Together with his adviser and Hidajet Halilović, the head of the entity’s amnesty commission, they are charged for taking bribes to approve amnesties. He was released on 24 May since there were no evidence of him being guilty.
Budimir advocates creation of Posavina district which will, according to Budimir, bring political, economical and social stability into this region. Also, creation of Posavina district would, as he thinks, help in return of the refugees.
In January 2012, Budimir met with High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Valentin Inzko, and stated that two entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Federation and Republika Srpska need to cooperate closer and both Inzko and Budimir agreed that Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina needs to be reorganized, especially in reducing its administration so as to gain economic stability.
He is married to Darija Budimir née Kuna. They have three children: a daughter, Lucija, and two sons, Luka and Borna.
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