The main party representing Serbs in Bosnia, the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, SNSD, has called on the country's largest Bosniak party, the Party of Democratic Action, SDA, and the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, to start talks on forming a government.
Igor Radojicic of the SNSD said on Tuesday that the SDA and HDZ should be talking with his party about the formation of a new Council of Ministers, as the executive is called in Bosnia and Herzegovina - and there was no time to waste.
“We can already say there is a clear majority in the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the formation of a new Council of Ministers,” Radojicic said in Banja Luka.
“The winning party in both entites, the SNSD and its coalition partners in Republika Srpska, and the SDA and HDZ in the Federation already have a mathematical capacity to form a new Council of Ministers.”
Bosnia comprises two autonomous entities, the Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In the general elections held on October 12 - for posts in the state-level parliament, which are chosen from the two entities - the SNSD won around 230,000 votes in Republika Srpska. The rival Serbian Democratic Party, SDS, won around 195,000.
In the Federation entity, the SDA won most votes - around 235,000 votes - followed by the Democratic Front, DF, with around 130,000 votes and the HDZ, which won just over 100,000.
The DF has said that it is still pondering whether to take part in the government. The head of the SDS, Mladen Bosic, said his party wanted to be in the Council of Ministers.
The Council of Ministers must by law comprise three ministers from each of the three main ethnic groups, making nine, plus a tenth minister from the category of "others", meaning ethnically undeclared or minorities.
By the agreed principle of rotation, the position of the Prime Minister should be a Bosniak this time round.
In the mainly Serbian entity, Radojicic said the SNSD and its partners, the Democratic People's Union DNS and the Socialist Party have enough lawmakers in the Republika Srpska assembly to form the entity government.
Official talks between the parties on the formation of a new government have not yet started, and some estimate that it could be months before all the structures are in place.
Adil Osmanovic, of the SDA, said the cantonal assemblies in the Federation and then the Federation entity government have to be formed first.
Afterward, he said, the parties from the two entities should form the state-level government. By his estimate, this could take until next February.
He said it would be best for the parties that form majorities in the entities to replicate the same pattern at state level.
“The experience of the last four years in the Federation is that when we have different political parties at different levels, the authorities cannot function,” he said.
At the meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg on Monday, the ministers underlined the importance of forming a government in Bosnia as soon as possible.