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Bosnia Votes In Government, Ending 16-Month Deadlock

Bosnia and Herzegovina's new cabinet led by Prime Minister Vjekoslav Bevanda (in foreground)
The Bosnian parliament has voted in a new central government, formally ending a 16-month political crisis that followed the October 2010 elections.

The crisis was caused by more than a year of political infighting between Bosnia's Muslim, Serb, and Croat parties, who failed to agree on how to allocate key cabinet positions.

But the stalemate ended on February 10 as parliament approved the new cabinet in a vote of 26-7, with one abstention.

The nine portfolios in the new government led by Bosnian Croat Vjekoslav Bevanda will be divided among six parties -- two Bosnian Serb, two Bosnian Croat, the main Muslim SDA party, and the multi-ethnic Social Democrats.

Observers say the delay has caused considerable harm to the prospects of Bosnia, one of Europe's poorest countries, joining the European Union.

Compiled from agency reports