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Kuzmanovic sworn-in as president of Bosnian Serb Republic

Rajko Kuzmanovic was sworn-in on Friday as the president of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Serb Republic, said reports reaching here from the Serb Republic’s capital Banja Luka.

The 76-year-old Kuzmanovic, a retired law professor, was invested in Banja Luka during the special session of the Bosnian Serb Republic’s parliament. He succeeded the late president Milan Jelic, who died of a heart attack on September 30, less than a year after being elected. The early presidential elections were held on December 9 when Kuzmanovic won nearly 42% of the votes. The entity’s president is elected after one round of voting, with a simple majority of votes deciding the winner.

According to the peace agreement that ended the three and a half years war in 1995, Bosnia-Herzegovina consists of the Serb Republic and the Bosnian-Croat federation. Each of the two semi-independent entities has it’s own president government, parliament and police force. Kuzmanovic has said the election was a „victory for democracy” and pledged to be the president of all people „regardless of nationality and party affiliations.”

Kuzmanovic, the seventh president of the Serb Republic, is a member of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats headed by Bosnian Serb Prime Minister Milorad Dodik. The entity’s president does not have decision-making powers but no law can be passed without presidential approval. (