GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October).
51,129 sq km (19,741 sq miles).
88.8 per sq km.
Sarajevo. Population: 315,000 (2013).
Roughly triangular in shape, and the geopolitical centre of the former Yugoslav Federation, Bosnia & Herzegovina shares borders with Serbia and Montenegro in the east and southeast, and Croatia to the north and west, with a short Adriatic coastline of 20km (12 miles) in the southeast, but no ports.
Parliamentary democracy. Under the terms of the 1995 Dayton Peace agreement, Bosnia & Herzegovina consists of two entities: Federacija Bosne i Hercegovine (the Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina) and Republika Srpska (the Serbian Republic). Each has its own president, although there is also a three-member rotating presidency, elected every four years. The presidency then appoints a chairman of the council of Ministers. A central government, based in Sarajevo, is responsible for national functions including foreign, external trade and finance policies. Two thirds of the seats in the national assembly are reserved for Federation candidates and one third for Serbs. In addition, Republika Srpska elects its own president and national assembly, while the Federation elects a national assembly.
Head of State
The presidency of Bosnia & Herzegovina consists of two members and one chairperson: one Bosniak, one Serb and one Croat. Current members and chairman are: Haris Silajdic, Nebojsa Radmanovic and Zeljko Komsic, all since 2006. The chair rotates every eight months.
Head of Government
Prime Minister Nikola Spiric since 2007.
The first set of post-war elections under the terms of the Dayton Accord took place in October 1996. These brought victories for the main nationalist parties representing each of the three communities – the Party of Democratic Action (KCD) for the Muslims, the Croat Democratic Party (HDZ) and the Serb Democratic Party (SDS). These have since remained the dominant political forces in their respective territories, despite none-too-subtle efforts by the international community to promote more moderate political forces, which it is hoped will eventually guide the country towards reunification and ultimately NATO and EU membership.
At the 2000 polls, effective opposition parties did emerge for the first time on both sides – Sloga on the Serb side mounted a serious challenge to the SDS, while in the Muslim-Croat Federation, the Croat Social Democratic Party did likewise to the Croat HDZ. The KCD remained pre-eminent as the main representative party of the Muslim population. However, the polls in October 2002, reaffirmed the dominant position of the three main nationalist parties – the SDS governs Republika Srpska while the KCD is the largest single party in the Muslim-Croat Federation. There has been some friction within the Federation but so far it has held together as a political entity. The 2002 elections were also notable for the fact that they were the first to have been organised domestically; previous polls had been administered and supervised by the international community.
There was evidence of possible corruption from the Croat member of presidency, Covic, but he was promptly sacked by High Representative Paddy Ashdown in 2005.
The most recent administration, run by Prime Minister Spiric, is the first to run Bosnia without international supervision since the end of the 1992-95 war.