MOSTAR, Bosnia-Herzegovina -- The controversial, long-serving mayor of the ethnically divided Bosnian city of Mostar has been transported to Croatia for urgent medical treatment.
Ljubo Beslic, who has served in his post without a mandate since his term expired in 2013, was flown to a hospital in the Croatian capital, Zagreb, on November 30, sources within the city's administration told RFE/RL.
“The mayor...[has] been having heart issues for years, and now obviously heart-related drugs have affected his kidneys,” a source from Beslic’s cabinet told RFE/RL, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.
Beslic -- who has been dubbed the "eternal mayor" due to the peculiarity of his situation -- is effectively the only power in Mostar, as the city council was disbanded seven years ago. There is no deputy mayor.
Local media reported earlier that Beslic, 61, was transported from the Mostar University Clinic to Zagreb.
Mostar is a divided town of some 100,000 people in southern Bosnia-Herzegovina. The western side of the town is predominantly Catholic Croat and the eastern side is mainly Muslim Bosniak.
The town has not had local elections for 11 years -- ever since the leading Croatian and Bosniak parties -- the Croatian Democratic Union (or HDZ, the party to which Beslic belongs) and the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) could not agree on new election rules.
The European Court of Human Rights has condemned Bosnia for its failure to hold municipal elections in Mostar over a legal issue.