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Bosnian Leaders Break 13-Month Deadlock With Nomination Of Prime Minister

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Bosnia's new Prime Minister-designate Zoran Tegeltija (file photo)

Some 13 months after a general election, Bosnia-Herzegovina's tripartite presidency has broken a deadlock with the nomination of economist Zoran Tegeltija as the prime minister-designate.

The heads of the three parties representing ethnic Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks nominated Tegeltija on November 19 as the new head of the Council of Ministers, Bosnia's de facto government.

Bosniak leader Sefik Dzaferovic said that the winners of the decision "are all the people and citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina."

The move must be confirmed by the country's parliament.

Tegeltija was previously nominated by Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, but the leaders of the other two entities opposed the move over concerns he wasn’t committed to pushing the country along the path toward NATO membership.

While the Bosniak and Croat members want Bosnia to work toward NATO accession, pro-Russian Dodik has said that he would prefer Bosnia to remain neutral and outside of the security alliance.

Dodik has resisted the transmission of an annual plan of reforms to NATO, which would trigger its push for membership which has been blocked by Serbs in Bosnia for a decade.

More than 20 years after a devastating war pulled the fledgling landlocked country of under 4 million people apart along ethnic lines, Bosnia is still trying to shake off the effects.

The country is run by a government that includes a three-member presidency drawn along ethnic lines and two autonomous political entities.

Parliamentary elections in October 2018 underlined the same divisive rhetoric that sparked fighting almost three decades ago and highlighted Bosnia's crossroads -- either it continues to try to deepen Euro-Atlantic ties or its ethnic rivalries further derail progress toward the EU and NATO and hamper economic and political efforts.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, and dpa
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