Zeljko Komsic

Member of the Presidency, Bosnia and Herzegovina

(AP, DPA, AKI, Fena; Official BiH Presidency Website; Wikipedia)
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Zeljko Komsic[Getty Images]

Zeljko Komsic was sworn in as the Croat member of Bosnia and Herzegovina's (BiH) tripartite presidency on November 6th, 2006, five weeks after the country's general elections on October 1st. He and the other two members of the collective presidency, Bosniak Haris Silajdzic and Serb Nebojsa Radmanovic were elected by direct popular vote to a four-year term, replacing Ivo Miro Jovic, Sulejman Tihic and Borislav Paravac, respectively.

Komsic was born on January 20th, 1964, in Sarajevo. He is a graduate of the Sarajevo Faculty of Law and of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington.

During the 1992-1995 conflict in BiH, Komsic served in the Army of the Republic of BiH. In 1995, he was awarded the army's highest military decoration -- the Golden Lily.

Komsic then began his political career as member of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) of BiH. In 2000, he was elected head of the municipality of the New Sarajevo district in the BiH capital, filling the post until 2001, when he became his country's first ambassador to Belgrade. Several days after the October 5th, 2002, general elections in BiH, he resigned from the post, citing the SDP's defeat in the poll.

In the 2004 local elections, he won a new term as head of the New Sarajevo municipality. He served in that post until October 1st, 2006, when he was elected member of the BiH presidency after winning 40% of the vote for the Croat seat, thus becoming its youngest member ever. His election stirred a controversy, however, with some Croat nationalists -- including his predecessor, Jovic -- claiming he had drawn most of his votes not from the Croat population, but from Bosniak supporters.

In an address at the new presidency inaugural ceremony on November 6th, 2006, Komsic said he considered all citizens equal and pledged to perform his duties with integrity.

"I urge all BiH citizens to support my efforts and the assurance that our country must be democratic, civilised and prosperous, the country of rule of law and tolerance, the country in which nobody will be discriminated against, in which all will be equitable and equal," he said. "As a member of the BiH presidency, I will act in accordance with the constitutional authorities against social injustices, crime and corruption, and all forms of abuse of power."

Komsic is due to take over the eight-month rotating presidency chairmanship from Radmanovic in July 2007.

He is married with one child.

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