Željko Komšić (born 20 January 1964) is a Bosnian politician who serves as the Croat member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He served from 2006 until 2014, and he was re-elected to the same office for a third term in the 2018 election, thus becoming the second Presidency member overall (after Bosniak Alija Izetbegović) and the first Croat member to serve more than two terms. He was sworn in in November 2018, along with fellow Presidency members Šefik Džaferović (Bosniak) and Milorad Dodik (Serb).
Although elected to the post of Croat member of the tri-partitive presidency, many Bosnian Croats considered him to be an illegitimate representative of their interests as he was elected mostly by Bosniak voters in the Federation, a Bosniak-Croat political entity which forms a majority of the country's territory and whose residents are eligible to cast ballots for both the Bosniak and Croat members of the presidency (while the Serb member is elected by residents of the Republika Srpska entity).
Personal life and educationEdit
Komšić was born in Sarajevo to a Bosnian Croat father, Marko, and Bosnian Serb mother Danica (née Stanić; 1941 – 1 August 1992), who was killed by a sniper as she sipped coffee in her apartment during the Siege of Sarajevo. His maternal grandfather Marijan Stanić, who was a Chetnik during World War II, died two years before Komšić was born.[unreliable source?][failed verification] The Stanić family hailed from the village of Kostajnica, near Doboj.
Komšić has a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University and a law degree from University of Sarajevo. He is married to Sabina, an ethnic Bosniak, a civil engineer. The couple has a daughter named Lana.
During the Bosnian war, he served in the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and received the Golden Lily — the highest military decoration awarded by the Bosnian-Herzegovinian government.
After the war, Komšić embarked on a political career as a member of the Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina (SDP-BiH). He was a councilman of the municipality of Novo Sarajevo and in the city council of Sarajevo, before being elected the head of the municipal government of Novo Sarajevo in 2000. He then also served as the deputy mayor of Sarajevo for two years. When the "Alliance for Democratic Change" coalition came to power in 1998, Komšić was named the ambassador to the now defunct Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in Belgrade. He resigned this commission after the election in 2002 when SDP went back into opposition.
First term presidencyEdit
Komšić was SDP's candidate for the Croat seat in the Presidency in the 2006 Bosnia and Herzegovina general election. He received 116,062 votes, or 39.6% ahead of Ivo Miro Jović (HDZ; 26.1%), Božo Ljubić (HDZ 1990; 18.2%), Mladen Ivanković-Lijanović (NSRB; 8.5%), Zvonko Jurišić (HSP; 6.9%) and Irena Javor-Korjenić (0.7%). He was sworn into office on 1 October 2006. His victory was widely attributed[by whom?][dubious ] to a split in the HDZ-BiH party, enabling the SDP to win a majority of the Bosniaks votes. Croats see him as an illegitimate representative of the Bosnian Croats because he was elected mostly by Bosniak voters.
In May 2008, the Bosniak Member of the State Presidency, Haris Silajdžić, stated during his visit to Washington D. C. that there is only one language in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that it goes by three names. His statement created negative reactions from Croat political parties and, at the time, Prime Minister of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik. Komšić replied to Silajdžić that he is not the one who will decide how many languages are being spoken in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Second term presidencyEdit
At the 2010 general election, Komšić won 337,065 votes, 60.6% of total. He was followed by Borjana Krišto (HDZ; 19.7%), Martin Raguž (HK; 10.8%), Jerko Ivanković-Lijanović (NSRB; 8.1%), Pero Galić (0.3%), Mile Kutle (0.2%) and Ferdo Galić (0.2%).
Komšić's electoral win in 2010 is highly contested by Croat political representatives and generally seen as electoral fraud. Namely, every citizen in the Federation can decide whether to vote for a Bosniak or a Croat representative. However, since Bosniaks make up 70% of Federation's population and Croats only 22%, a candidate running to represent Croats in the Presidency can be effectively elected even without a majority among the Croat community - if enough Bosniak voters decide to vote on a Croat ballot. This happened in 2006 and in 2010, when Komšić, an ethnic Croat, backed by multiethnic Social-Democrat Party, won the elections with very few Croat votes. In 2010 he didn't win in a single municipality that had Croat-majority or plurality; nearly all of these went to Borjana Krišto. Bulk of the votes Komšić received came from predominantly Bosniak areas and he fared quite poorly in Croat municipalities, supported by less than 2,5% of the electorate in a number of municipalities in Western Herzegovina, such as Široki Brijeg, Ljubuški (0,8%), Čitluk, Posušje and Tomislavgrad, while not being able to gain not even 10% in a number of others. Komšić received over seven thousand votes from the Bosniak-majority municipality Kalesija, where a total of 20 Croats live. Furthermore, total Croat population in whole of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina was then estimated around 495,000; Komšić received 336,961 votes alone, while all other Croat candidates won 230,000 votes altogether. Croats consider him to be an illegitimate representative and generally treat him as a second Bosniak member of the presidency. This raised frustration among Croats, undermined their trust in federal institutions and empowered claims for their own entity or a federal unit.
Third term PresidencyEdit
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Željko Komšić.|
- Official web site of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency (in Bosnian)
- Official web site of Željko Komšić (in Bosnian)
Ivo Miro Jović
| Croat member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina