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Hasan Muratovic Named
Bosnian Prime Minister

(Sarajevo, February 2, 1996)
Hasan Muratovic has been named Bosnian prime minister, replacing Haris Silajdzic who resigned 10 days ago in a political party dispute. Silajdzic said he feared "totalitarian tendencies" in the Muslim-led government. Muratovic has been outspoken in his belief Muslims and Serbs can co-exist in Sarajevo. Last November, he told Bosnia's ONASA News Service, "We believe that we have proven to the world that Serbs in Sarajevo are safe. No vindictive acts nor any incidents have taken place here even in the most difficult situations when the population had every motive to do so—when massacres were committed, for which some Serbs from the free territory were accused of and later proven to be part of—not even then were Serbs endangered," Muratovic said.

Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic resigned unexpectedly without making his reasons public at the time. Other government leaders have gave him a week to reconsider, or threatened that a new prime minister would be named. Silajdzic had been one of the most powerful advocates of a secular, multi-ethnic Bosnia and Herzegovina and is highly respected in the West. He has also been a major force lobbying to lift the arms embargo. The ruling Party of Democratic Action proposed six possible candidates to replace him: Hasan Muratovic, then minister in charge of relations with the UN; Fatima Leho, director of the Bank of Bosnia; Kasim Begic, dean of the Law Faculty in Sarajevo; Safet Orucevic, mayor of Mostar; Mehmed Corhodzic, director of a textile factory in Travnik; and Izudin Kapatonovic, an electrical engineer from Tuzla.

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