Wednesday, October 22, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 22,2008) - The Bosnian Central Election Commission has adopted decision on conclusion of the local elections results. "In order for the results to be confirmed within 30 days it is necessary to enable all participants in the election process to appeal this decision and to demand re-counting of ballots in certain election units”, stated at the press-conference president of the Bosnian Central Election Commission Suad Arnautovic.

After the process is completed, the Commission shall confirm the election results which will be published in the Official Gazette of Bosnia and other official releases.

Arnautovic added that it is possible to file a request for re-counting of ballots within three days since the announcement of results. This period starts tomorrow.

Whwn it comes to municipally mayor positions, SNSD won 39, followed by SDA with 36, SDS 16, HDZBiH 16, SDP 9, SBiH 4, HDZ1990 3, and DNS 3. This does not include certain positions parties won in coalitions.

The largest number of municipal council seats went to SDA - 537, SNSD 494, SDP 322, SDS 316, HDZBiH 216, SBiH 180 and PDP 148.

Largest number of votes for municipal councils went to SDA 275.065, then SNSD 207.896, and SDP 193.765.

The Bosnian Central Election Commission ordered the control counting of votes in 96 polling stations due to irregular calculations with 171 complaints being sent to the municipal election commissions.

In nine cases the Bosnian Central Election Commission had suspicions of criminal offenses and reports have been sent to the Bosnian State Prosecution.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 22,2008) - By Saying of the Al-Fatiha Prayer and laying of flowers on the grave of the first President of the Republic of Bosnia and founder and honorary president of the largest Bosnian political party - SDA, Alija Izetbegovic, the 5th anniversary of his death was commemorated at the Kovaci cemetery in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

Asides family members, the memorial was visited by leaders of SDA and the Bosnian President Haris Silajdzic, officials of the FBiH entity, the Sarajevo Canton and the City of Sarajevo and other public personas and admirers of the deed of President Alija Izetbegovic.

SDA President Sulejman Tihic remembered in his address that President Izetbegovic always fought for Bosnia, state of equal peoples and citizens and added that all who follow his path fight for such Bosnia.

He added that President Izetbegovic led realistic politics, the only one possible and right.

The Bosnian President Haris Silajdzic, remembering the deeds of Alija Izetbegovic stated that this was the man who fought for freedom with clear sense who the aggressor was, who is the victim and who is the attacker.

He especially underlined President Izetbegovic’s humanity due to which “we never had any acts of revenge, we did not tear down monuments of others nor have we created concentration camps”.

He stated that lately there is an intensified campaign to equal the aggressors against Bosnia and the defenders of Bosnia and President Silajdzic stated that this is the goal of those who do not want to do anything to bring more justice to Bosnia.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 22,2008) - The largest Bosnian political party - the Party of Democratic Action (Bosnian: Stranka Demokratske Akcije - SDA) thinks a revision of the current members of the FBiH entity government is necessary, both in the sense of replacements and re-distribution of authorities, it was concluded yesterday in a party meeting.

According to SDA’s President Sulejman Tihic, current entity prime minister Nedzad Brankovic would remain in that position, but his cabinet is to undergo significant changes.

Tihic said the party is not satisfied with the performance of the FBIH entity government departments in charge of industry and energy, finance, veteran issues and social welfare.


SOFIA, Bulgaria (October 22,2008) - Croatian oil company INA tops a list of the 100 most successful companies in the southeastern Europe in terms of sales revenue in 2007, consulting firm Roland Berger's Zagreb office said today.

Last year INA's sales revenue exceeded 3.7 billion Euros (4.88 billion U.S. Dollars).

The list is based on a survey conducted by Bulgarian on-line news agency SeeNews, covering companies from Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.

In terms of the number of companies included on the Top 100 list, Slovenia is first with 23 companies, while Croatia is second with 21.

The survey reveals that the oil and natural gas sector is the leading branch of the economy in the region, followed by electric power production and distribution, telecommunications, metallurgy, and construction.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 22,2008) - Today is the 16th anniversary of the kidnapping and murder of a group of Bosnian civilians from Sjeverin,Sandzak, by the genocidal paramilitary formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia.

Fifteen Bosnian men and one woman from Sjeverin were on a bus to Priboj on the morning of October 22, 1992. The bus was stopped by a group of Serbian fascist in the village of Mioče.

After looking at their papers, they took only the Bosnian civilians out of the bus and took them to a truck which then transported them to the Vilina Vlas Hotel in the eastern Bosnian town of Višegrad.

There the Bosnian civilians were brutally tortured by the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor, before being taken to the shore of the Drina River, where they were mass murdered.

Their bodies have yet to be found, 16 years later.

The families and friends of the genocide victims from Sjeverin held a commemoration today in Mioče and threw flowers into the Lim River, after which a procession of cars will travel to Višegrad to place flowers at the location where they are believed to have been murdered.

The genocide victims of the Sjeverin massacre were: Mehmed Šebo, Zafer Hadžić, Medo Hadžić, Medredin Hodžić, Ramiz Begović, Derviš Softić, Medhad Softić, Mujo Alihodžić, Alija Mandal, Sead Pecikoza, Mustafa Bajramović, Hajrudin Sajtarević, Esad Džihić, Ramahudin Ćatović, Idriz Gibović and Mevlida Koldžić.


PRISTINA, Kosovo (October 22,2008) - Kosovo is hosting annual Kur'an recitators' competition for the southeastern Europe for the second time in the city of Prizren.

From 18th October until 26th the competition will be open for all those who wish to participate on the final night of the competition in Prizren on November 1. Twelve best recitators will win the right to compete on the final night.

Ilir Gashi, responsible for technical part of the event, said that those who wish to compete can apply by sending their recordings by mail or if they are in Kosovo they can deliver them by CD in few spots in Prishtina, Prizren and Mitrovica.

"Last year we organized for the first time Kur'an Fest and participants from Kosova and Macedonia took part, meanwhile this year we have qaris from Bosnia and Albania too" said Hafz Faton Bytyqi, one of the organizers
Last year winner was given a free trip to Hajj and the second and third contestants were rewarded with money.

The official website for the event is from where more information can be taken regarding this great event.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 22,2008) - The Czech Republic supports as quick as possible integration of Bosnia with the European Union and the abolition of visas towards this country by the 27 EU member states, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg told Bosnian Foreign Minister Sven Alkalaj today.

However, it seems that it is difficult to convince the partners in the EU that the abolition of EU visas towards the southeastern European countries would benefit both sides, Schwarzenberg said.

At present, only citizens of Croatia can travel to EU countries without visas.

Schwarzenberg assured Alkalaj that Prague would help Bosnia with the preparation for EU membership.Schwarzenberg and Alkalaj discussed the Czech Republic's forthcoming EU presidency that will start in January, 2009.

They also signed a memorandum on cooperation.

Alkalaj told journalists he firmly believed that the Czech EU presidency would have great impact.

"We have one of the strongest voices in the EU that says that the integration of Western Balkan countries with the Euro-Atlantic structures should be speeded up and completed," he said.

He added that he would try to convince politicians from other EU countries of the necessity to lift visas towards these countries as soon as possible.

The Czech Republic is of the view that the EU should abolish visa requirements for citizens of individual southeastern European countries separately when these countries were prepared for this.

For instance, citizens of Bosnia, Macedonia and Albania need visas to travel to EU countries, including the Czech Republic. However, Czechs, for instance, do not need visas to go to these countries, which means that a one-sided visa regime is valid for the former.

Bosnia made progress in the integration with the EU this summer. A stabilisation and association agreements between Bosnia and the EU have been signed which is a pre-condition for the future EU membership and in which Bosnia pledged to implement certain reforms.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 22,2008) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is extending another €10 million loan to Mikrokreditna Fondacija Partner, one of the leading microfinance institutions in Bosnia, to enable micro and small enterprises (MSEs) to gain more access to finance to start up or expand their businesses.

Partner was established in 1997 as a non-governmental organisation supported by Mercy Corps and in December 2000 it was registered as a microfinance institution to provide financial support to low-income entrepreneurs across Bosnia. Through its network of 43 offices, Partner now serves around 60,000 clients both in urban and rural areas.

The new loan to Partner follows the first credit line of €8 million provided by the EBRD to this institution in June 2007. The first loan, which was fully disbursed, has served more than 3,000 new clients.

The first loan provided by the EBRD to Partner was complemented by €500,000 in technical assistance from donors under the EBRD - Western Balkans Fund. This technical assistance support will be used to facilitate the company’s current restructuring from a non-profit organisation into a commercial organisation, reflecting a recently adopted law on micro-credit organisations passed in Bosnia. The assistance will focus on strengthening internal information technologies, audit/control processes, risk management, and MSE lending-specific processes.

Chikako Kuno, Director of Group for Small Business at EBRD, said that in times of constrained liquidity it is important that micro and small entrepreneurs gain sufficient access to finance to meet their demands. This new loan to Partner, an important partner for the EBRD, will help reach even smaller and more credit-constrained borrowers in rural parts of Bosnia, facilitating their growth of domestic production,Kuno added.

This latest EBRD loan builds on the Bank’s continuing support for the Bosnian micro enterprise sector, including loans to Mikrofin, EKI, Sunrise, MI Bospo and Prizma. Since its first microfinance loan in 2006, the Bank has already extended a total of €51 million to six microfinance institutions in the country. Across its countries of operations, the EBRD has committed over €1.1 billion to 138 financial institutions, supporting more than 3 million micro and small businesses.