PM Resignation Plunges Bosnia Into Crisis

Call for streamlined voting destabilizes divided country
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2007 8:43 AM CDT
Bosnian Prime Minister Nikola Spiric addresses reporters as he announces his resignation in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007. Spiric, a Bosnian Serb, offered his resignation to the country's...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Bosnia's prime minister quit yesterday, plunging the fragile country into its deepest political crisis since the end of the Balkan wars, the Independent writes. Nikola Spiric resigned after international overseers imposed measures to streamline government decision-making to simple majority rule. "For 12 years, foreigners have run this country," said the PM, "and this is not good."

According to the 1995 Dayton Peace accords, which divided Bosnia into two federal states, policy decisions require super-majorities in order to maintain consensus and prevent one ethnic group from seizing power. But the rule has also paralyzed the government, and the move to streamline was intended to speed Bosnia's entry into the EU. Replacing the PM is no simple matter, as the new PM has to be approved by parliament, and Bosnian Serb MPs won't be eager to back a successor.