(DPA, Fena, Xinhua; AP, AKI, Hina, Fena; Official website of the BiH government; BBC; Wikipedia)
The House of Representatives of the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) voted on January 11th, 2007, to appoint Bosnian Serb Nikola Spiric of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) as the country's new prime minister. He replaced Adnan Terzic of the Muslim Party of Democratic Action (SDA), the first BiH prime minister since the end of the 1992-1995 conflict in the country to serve a full four-year term.
Spiric was nominated to the post by BiH's tripartite presidency more than three months after the general elections on October 1st, 2006.
Born on September 4th, 1956, in Drvar in western BiH, Spiric finished high school in Sarajevo, where he also completed his undergraduate and postgraduate studies. He obtained his Bachelor's Degree in economics (BBE) from the Economics Faculty of the University of Sarajevo in 1980 and also holds Master's and PhD degrees in economics. His doctoral thesis was on monetary and public finance.
Spiric joined the University of Sarajevo Economics Faculty in 1980, working as a researcher until 1992. He then became a lecturer in monetary and public finance at the University of Banja Luka.
He began his political career in 1990, when he was elected member of the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH, serving as such during the next ten years. In 2000, Spiric was appointed deputy minister for human rights and refugees in BiH's central government. From 2001 to 2006, he served as speaker and deputy speaker of the House of Representatives of the BiH Parliament.
On January 4th, 2007, BiH's tripartite presidency issued a decree nominating Spiric as chairman of the BiH council of ministers. The move came a day after the seven parties that won the October 1st elections reached an agreement on the new prime minister and the distribution of the ministerial seats in his cabinet, composed of members of the Balkan nation's three main ethnic groups -- Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs. The parties also agreed on an overall strategy, whose key goals include constitutional reform, boosting foreign investment and fulfilling the requirements for signing a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU, as well as the preconditions for joining NATO.
"I will do everything to make every day better for this country and its citizens," Spiric pledged following his official nomination. "Bosnia and Herzegovina is facing huge challenges in the next four years and I intend to talk less and work more."
Addressing the members of the BiH Parliament's House of Representatives before it voted to appoint him as the country's new prime minister on January 11th, Spiric named the security and stability of BiH and its entities, economic development, and the EU and NATO integration processes as his top priorities.