Milorad Dodik

Prime Minister, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina

(FENA - 08/03/06; European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity - 02/03/06; RFE/RL, FENA, Official Web Site of the Government of Republika Srpska - 28/02/06;

Milorad Dodik. [Getty Images]

Milorad Dodik, the leader of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), became prime minister of Republika Srpska (RS) on 28 February 2006, taking up the post for the second time in his career. The RS Parliament elected him about a month after voting out the previous Serbian Democratic Party-led government, headed by Pero Bukejlovic.

Dodik was born in 1959 in Banja Luka. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and has served in various political and administrative positions since 1986.

He was chairman of the executive board of the local assembly in Laktasi from 1986 to 1990. In the first multiparty elections in the former Yugoslavia, held in 1990, Dodik was elected a member of the BiH parliament. During the 1992-1995 conflict in BiH he opposed the SDS in the RS National Assembly. After the end of the conflict, he founded the SNSD and has since served as its president.

Dodik served his first term as the entity's prime minister from 1998 to 2001.

Ten days after Bukejlovic's government was removed on 26 January 2006, RS President Dragan Cavic asked Dodik to form the new entity government, which includes 16 ministers -- eight Serbs, five Bosniaks and three Croats. The RS Parliament approved Dodik as prime minister on 28 February.

The SNSD leader has named economic development and the fight against organised crime and corruption as top priorities for his government.

"Our task is to make the RS institutions stronger, to restore the citizens' trust in those institutions, and to show they are capable of fighting economic and social violence," Dodik said.

Stressing the need for meeting BiH's obligation for full co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the prime minister also pledged stronger efforts for the capture of war criminals still sought by The Hague-based court. He also vowed to ensure stability so that BiH could move forward on its path towards EU integration.

Dodik is married and has two children.

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