2011 US Diplomat: Bosnia Lagging Behind in Balkans Bosnia and Herzegovina has not made significant political and social progress over the past four years, US diplomat Thomas Countryman says. In an interview with several news agencies, the US deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs was reported as saying Bosnia was no closer to the EU and NATO than it had been four years ago. He added that the country was seriously lagging behind other countries in the Balkans. Countrtyman also expressed regret that some of the basic principles of the Dayton Agreement, which formed the foundation of Bosnia's Constitution following the 1992-1995 war, had still not been universally accepted. "I would prefer that we can concentrate on political development on a path towards the EU. But, we and other members of the international community still need to protect the basic principles of Dayton," he said. He reiterated that the basic principles of the Dayton Agreement include Bosnia being seen as a single state with two entities and three constituent peoples. He added that the US would defend the principles. In a separate statement, Valentin Inzko, the high representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, was reported as saying Bosnia¶s political leaders¶ competency would underpin progress in employment and social welfare in the country. "The real challenge that Bosnia and Herzegovina has been facing is the question of whether this generation of political leaders is capable of implementing the reforms that this country needs to be able to solve real problems, such as growing unemployment, low pensions, poor infrastructure, corruption, and especially the country's failure to form government at the state level", Inzko said. Montenegro Opposition Party Considers Calling Early Election Five days after the Montenegrin government failed to pass a law on election reform, one opposition party is considering calling for an early election. Montenegro's parliament Andrija Mandic, president of the New Serbian Democracy party, NOVA, told members of the media on Thursday that there was a political crisis and early elections could be one solution. ³If we don¶t reach an agreement on [a new election law at] the next vote, we should have an early election as immediately as next year,´ she said. The European Commission has made it clear that Montenegro must fulfill certain conditions if it is to qualify for eligibility to EU candidacy. One of these is the updating of its election law. Mandic¶s comments come after repeated attempts by the government to pass a new election law in parliament. On Sunday, the government tried for a seventh time to reach consensus on a proposed election law but opposition parties either rejected it or refused to vote. A new deadline for voting was set for 31 December 2011. Podgorica±based political analyst Srdjan Vukadinovic, told Balkan Insight that it would be logical for officials at Montenegro¶s Assembly and Government to resign from their positions and launch early elections. ³It has become clear that Montenegro has no capacity to conduct negotiations with the EU, and so the elections would be the best solution. Otherwise, I don¶t see how this will end,´ Vukadinovic said. Meanwhile, officials from the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS, have called on their colleagues in the opposition to make compromises so as to achieve consensus on the sought-

On Sunday.after law reform. . Montenegrin is the language named as official in the country. 44 percent of citizens said they spoke Serbian and 36 percent of Montenegrin citizens stated that they speak the Montenegrin language. opposition parties refused to vote in favour of it because it did not make provisions for Serbian to become a second official language. Currently. At the last census.

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