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Dragan Čović (pronounced [drǎgan t͡ʃǒːʋit͡ɕ]; born 20 August 1956) is a Bosnian Croat politician and leader of the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HDZ BiH) party. Having served as the Croat member of Bosnia's tripartite Presidency since 2014, he is due to leave office after losing his bid re-election in 2018.

Dragan Čović
Dragan Čović, portrait 2.jpg
Personal details
Born (1956-08-20) 20 August 1956 (age 63)
Mostar, FPR Yugoslavia (now Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Political partyLeague of Communists (before 1992)
Croatian Democratic Union (1994–present)
Spouse(s)Bernardica Prskalo
Alma materUniversity of Mostar
University of Sarajevo
AwardsOrder of the Croatian Trefoil (1997)

Education and managerial careerEdit

Dragan Čović was born in Mostar. He attended elementary school and technical high school of mechanical engineering in Mostar and graduated in 1975.

After high school he entered the Faculty of Engineering at Džemal Bijedić University in Mostar and graduated in 1979 gaining a title of mechanical engineer.

In 1980, he started working as an employee in SOKO company in Mostar, where he worked in technology and control sections.[1]

From 1986–92 he did various managerial jobs, such as director of business unit, director of production and vice president for industrialization. Čović gained a master's degree in 1989 at the Faculty of Engineering in Mostar, and, from 1989–91, he attended studies of management at the Faculty of Economy at the University of Sarajevo.

From 1992–98, he was the general director of SOKO. He obtained a PhD from the University of Mostar in 1996.[1]

From 1994–96 he taught Economics and Organization of Production as a senior assistant at the Faculty of Engineering in Mostar, after which he was named assistant professor and taught Development of Production Systems. Four years later, he became an associate professor and in 2004 he was a full professor of the University of Mostar. He worked at the Faculty of Economy in Mostar, and also in regular and postgraduate studies.

In 2007, he became visiting professor at the University of Mostar's Faculty of Philosophy, and in 2014 member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts of BiH.[1]

Political careerEdit

In 1994, Čović joined the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HDZ BiH). Two years later, he became a member of the cantonal committee of HDZ. In 1997, he became the president of the city committee of HDZ in Mostar.

In 1998, he became vice president of HDZ and in 2005 he was elected President. From 1998–2001, he served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[1]

At the general election in 2002 he was elected as member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina with 114,606 votes.[1] He was a Presidency member until 29 March 2005, when he was removed from office by the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Paddy Ashdown, for abuse of power and position. Since 2005 he is President of HDZ BiH.[1]

In 2008, Čović joined the Prud Agreement as one of the three main negotiators (Dodik-Tihić-Čović). When the Prud process failed over issues of constitutional reform and territorial restructuring, RS leader Milorad Dodik and his party SNSD became close partners to HDZ BiH.

During the numerous failed negotiations to implement the 2009 ECtHR Sejdić-Finci judgment, Čović has been singled out by analysts[who?] as blocking a solution, maintaining that Bosnian Croats must be able to elect their own member in the BiH Presidency.[citation needed]

In May 2011 he became a member of the House of Peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina and in February 2012 he was named Chairman of the House of Peoples.[1] In 2011, he was also appointed President of the Croatian National Congress of BiH.[1]

At the October 2014 election Čović was re-elected as Croat member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[1]

He held the chair of the rotating presidency between November 2015 and March 2016. During his chairmanship, on 15 February 2016, Bosnia and Herzegovina submitted its EU membership application. He gained again the chairmanship as of July 2017.[citation needed]

Investigations and indictmentsEdit

In November 2006 Čović was sentenced to five years in prison for exempting the Ivanković-Lijanović company of paying taxes on meat imports. He appealed and the Appellate Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina rejected[clarification needed] the sentence due to the purported incompetence[clarification needed] of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[citation needed]

In 2009, Čović was accused of spending public funds to buy private homes for certain people. In April 2010, he was acquitted.[2]

On 14 May 2010, a third indictment for Čović and six other persons was confirmed by the Court of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton (HNC), this time for abuse of power and position. He and other committee members of the Croatian Post and Telecom (HPT) were accused of transferring a debt of nearly 4,7 million Convertible Marks from the non-existing Ministry of Defence of the Croatian Defence Council to three private companies.[2]

By receiving the debt, those three companies became owners of shares in Eronet, the most profitable telecommunicational section of the HPT. At the time, Čović was Federal Minister of Finance and president of the Steering Committee of the HPT. The Court of the HNC asked that this case be brought in front of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the FBiH Supreme Court ruled the case had to be tried in Mostar. In May 2012, Čović was acquitted.[2]

2018 re-election bidEdit

On October 7, 2018, Čović lost his bid for re-election to the Bosnian Presidency after he was defeated by his moderate predecessor Željko Komšić.[3][4][5]


External linksEdit