Zlatko Lagumdžija

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Zlatko Lagumdžija
Zlatko Lagumdžija.jpg
Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina
In office
12 January 2012 – 31 March 2015
Serving with Nikola Špirić
Prime Minister Vjekoslav Bevanda
Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina
In office
12 January 2012 – 31 March 2015
Prime Minister Vjekoslav Bevanda
Deputy Ana Trešić-Babić
Preceded by Sven Alkalaj
Succeeded by Igor Crnadak
In office
22 February 2001 – 23 December 2002
Prime Minister Božidar Matić (2001)
Himself (2001–02)
Dragan Mikerević (2002)
Deputy Ivica Mišić
Preceded by Jadranko Prlić
Succeeded by Mladen Ivanić
4th Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina
In office
18 July 2001 – 15 March 2002
Preceded by Božidar Matić
Succeeded by Dragan Mikerević
Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
In office
25 October 1993 – 30 January 1996
Prime Minister Haris Silajdžić
Preceded by Božidar Matić
Succeeded by Dragan Mikerević
Personal details
Born (1955-12-26) 26 December 1955 (age 61)
Sarajevo, PR Bosnia and Herzegovina, FPR Yugoslavia
Nationality Bosniak
Political party Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992–present)
Other political
League of Communists of Yugoslavia (1973–92)
Spouse(s) Amina Lagumdžija
Children 3
Parents Salko Lagumdžija (father)
Residence Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Alma mater University of Sarajevo

Zlatko Lagumdžija[pronunciation?] (born 26 December 1955) is a Bosnian politician.[1] He was the president of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1997 to 2014.


Lagumdžija earned his high school diploma as a part of the Youth for Understanding[2] exchange student program in Allen Park, Michigan in 1973. His subsequent education was at the University of Sarajevo, where he earned a B.Sc in 1977, an M.Sc in 1981 and a PhD in 1988 in the field of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. In 1989, as a Fulbright program participant, he did postdoctoral research at the University of Arizona in the Department of Management Information Systems and the Center for the Management of Information.

Academic career[edit]

Lagumdžija began teaching at the University of Sarajevo in 1989 as a professor of Management Information Systems (MIS) and Informatics at the Economics Faculty and Projected Information Systems and Group Support Systems at the Electrical Engineering Faculty. He has served as the chair of the department of Management and Information Systems at the Economics Faculty since 1994 and the director of the director of the Management and Information Technologies Center (an organizational unit of the Economics Faculty) since 1995. His particular academic interests lie in the areas of Group Support Systems and Management Information Systems. He is also interested in the strategic use of information technology for business process reengineering, managing transition and leading change. He is the author of six books and over a hundred papers in the field of Management Information Systems.[3]

At the end of the war, Lagumdžija helped to secure funds from the Soros Foundation with which to rebuild the Group Support System facility at the University of Sarajevo. The strategic objective of the Management and Information Technologies Center, which housed the GSS facility, was to "assist and promote the transition of Bosnia-Herzegovina (B-H) to a democratic, market-driven economy."[4] As a part of that mandate, the Center held sessions for key business and government leaders as well as students at the University of Sarajevo utilizing GSS technology to assist them in thinking about and planning for the economic reconstruction of Sarajevo.

Political career[edit]

Wartime political career[edit]

Lagumdžija began his political career during the war as the Deputy Prime Minister, advising then-president Alija Izetbegović. In one particular case he advised him not to sign the Vance-Owen peace plan: "Mr Izetbegović was not endorsing it, but thinking out loud and saying perhaps the plan would not be so bad, that we could live with it. And some of us told him, 'Anyone who signs this plan will be dead, and not just politically…'" he told a New York Times reporter in February 1993.[5] Izetbegović signed the peace plan in March 1993. In May 1992, Lagumdžija was with Alija Izetbegović, Izetbegović’s daughter Sabina and his bodyguard, returning from the Lisbon negotiations, when they were surrounded at the Sarajevo airport by the JNA, kidnapped and driven in a convoy to Lukavica, in Serb-held territory.[6]

In April, 1993, Lagumdžija met with a group of citizens from Srebrenica who had journeyed through the Serb lines to Sarajevo. They informed him of the desperate situation of Srebrenica and the eastern Bosnian enclaves. In an effort to highlight the plight of Srebrenica, Lagumdžija suspended humanitarian aid donations for Sarajevo until aid was delivered to the eastern enclaves. A month later, UN Commander Philippe Morillon visited Srebrenica and declared the citizens under the protection of the UN.

Post-war political career[edit]

As a member of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lagumdžija has served as a member of the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly from 1996 until 2014. He has been the president of the SDP from 1997 to 2014. In the 2000 general elections, the SDP formed a coalition with the Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina (SBiH), a party founded and led by former wartime prime minister Haris Silajdžić, to gain the majority and force the nationalist parties out of power. They gathered a coalition of many other small parties to create the "Alliance for Change." Lagumdžija became the Foreign Minister, a post he served in from 2001–2003, and also the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, (i.e. the Prime Minister, as which he served until 2002).

When the SDP came into political power on a platform of economic reform and anti-corruption, Lagumdžija was lauded by the Western powers as the hopeful "face of a pluralistic, united Bosnia."[7] The SPD-led government facilitated the passage of the Election Law, which was not only an important step towards democracy, but also a prerequisite towards Bosnia's accession to the Council of Europe.[8] The SDP led the coalition government until the October 2002 general elections, when the public, dissatisfied at the pace of political reform, elected the nationalist parties back into power.[9]


Algerian Six[edit]

At the end of 2001, six citizens of Algerian origin (the so-called "Algerian Six") were accused of planning a terrorist attack on the US embassy in Sarajevo. They were taken into custody in October, and the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Lagumdžija then being prime minister) revoked their citizenship in November. After a 3-month-process, the Supreme Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina ordered their release based on lack of evidence.

However, Washington came out with a request for their extradition because "the US still believes they are a threat to American interests and that the US Government refused to publicly disclose evidence to the court in Bosnia and Herzegovina because it would endanger it's methods of intelligence-gathering." While the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina was deciding about this request, protests broke out in front of the Sarajevo prison. Eventually, Lagumdžija's government yielded to the demand, and the six were deported to Guantanamo Bay [10] In 2009, an investigation by the Cantonal prosecution of Sarajevo against Lagumdžija, the ex-Minister of intern affairs of the Federation Tomislav Limov and others involved was launched but later dropped. Another one was launched three years later, but it was dropped quickly too. Two of the three that returned to Bosnia still hold Lagumdžija responsible for their illegal imprisonment and filed a lawsuit against the state.[11]

"Coup d'état affair"[edit]

In September 2003, Lagumdžija and Munir Alibabić, the former director of the Federation Intelligence and Security Service (FOSS), were accused of conspiring to take over the government by Ivan Vuksić, the FOSS director at the time. The accusations were based on the illegal recordings of telephone conversations between the two men. The Sarajevo daily paper Dnevni Avaz, picked up the story and ran a series of articles which attacked Lagumdžija and blamed him of being behind the August 2003 explosions that had taken place in Sarajevo. Lagumdžija denied the accusations and released a public statement to the court, which read in part, "Any well-informed and well-intentioned person will know that all these accusations are based on vicious lies, and that their progenitors are provoking a situation, which would bring them to face justice in court in any organized democratic state."[12] The courts dismissed the accusations, Lagumdžija eventually sued Dnevni Avaz for libel and the newspaper was ordered to pay him 10,000 km in damages.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Lagumdžija is married to Amina, and has three children. His father Salko (1921–1973) was mayor of Sarajevo from 1965-67.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-10-06. Retrieved 2010-10-06. 
  2. ^ http://www.culturaldiplomacy.org/academy/index.php?Zlatko-Lagumdzija
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-20. Retrieved 2006-11-03. 
  4. ^ Zlatko Lagumdzija, Mark Adkins, Doug Vogel, "Rebuilding Sarajevo Using Partnerships" hicss, p. 479, 30th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) Volume 2: Information Systems Track-Collaboration Systems and Technology, 1997.
  5. ^ Gelb, Leslie H. "Sarajevo, Dead and Alive. [Op-Ed]" The New York Times, 7 February 1993: E21.
  6. ^ Silber, L., & Little, A. (1996). Yugoslavia: Death of a nation. New York: Penguin, 231-243.
  7. ^ Kaminski, Matthew. "The West’s man in Bosnia." Wall Street Journal 28 June 2000: A16.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2006-11-03. 
  9. ^ "Country not found country update - European Forum - for Democracy and Solidarity". Europeanforum.net. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  10. ^ "Alžirska grupa u Sarajevu predata vojnim snagama SAD-a 18/1/02 - 2002-01-18". Ba.voanews.com. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  11. ^ "Tužbe protiv BiH zbog 7 godina u Guantanamu". Balkans.aljazeera.net. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  12. ^ Alic, A. (2003). Quelling coups. Transitions Online

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