|Mayor of Mostar|
December 2004 – 15 February 2021
|Preceded by||Neven Tomić|
|Succeeded by||Mario Kordić|
|Born||27 July 1958|
Mostar, PR Bosnia and Herzegovina, FPR Yugoslavia
|Died||3 September 2021 (aged 63)|
|Political party||Croatian Democratic Union|
|Alma mater||University of Mostar|
He was a member of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ BiH).
Early life and careerEdit
Bešlić was born on 27 July 1958 in Mostar, PR Bosnia and Herzegovina, FPR Yugoslavia. He graduated in 1982 from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Mostar. Bešlić then worked as a professor at the High School of Mechanical Engineering in Mostar, and then at the printing house "Rade Bitanga" of Mostar as the head of the maintenance service. He was actively involved in handball (1972–1990) at the Velež Mostar Handball Club.
From 1992 to 1995, Bešlić served in the Croatian Defence Council during the Bosnian War. In 1996, he got involved in the NATO-led arms reduction programmes. He took part in the establishment of the Ministry of Defence of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and then worked in the same ministry as head of the Technical Department in the Logistics Sector.
Bešlić was an active member of the Council of Europe since 2004. In 2015, he was appointed chair of the Cantonal Committee of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ BiH). From 2006 to mid-2009, he was the President of the Association of Municipalities and Cities of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Mayor of Mostar (2004–2021)Edit
He was appointed mayor of Mostar for a second term on 18 December 2009. Bešlić was the first mayor of a united Mostar after the war; during his first term the reconstructed Stari most (Old Bridge) entered the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Following an appeal by his HDZ BiH party, in November 2010 the Constitutional Court annulled the electoral legislation on Mostar which had been imposed in 2001 by the international High Representative. In the absence of a legal basis, since the Parliament had not acted to replace such legislation, local elections could not take place in Mostar in 2012 and 2016. In the absence of a city council, Bešlić remained as acting mayor for eight additional years, during which he affirmed that he considered resigning multiple times, also due to his deteriorating health. During this time, he shared the administrative duties with Izet Šahović, head of Mostar's Finance Department, a bureaucrat and member of the Bosniak Party of Democratic Action (SDA). For two full mandates, Bešlić and Šahović had been deciding together how to disburse Mostar's yearly €30 million budget, without any legislative oversight or public transparency. The situation was denounced by multiple non-governmental organizations, which have pointed at the SDA-HDZ BiH power-sharing as the source of the maladministration of Mostar and the recurrent problems with trash collection, water treatment, and continued ethnic duplication of the city services.
In October 2019, the European Court of Human Rights ruled against Bosnia and Herzegovina in a case on the absence of electoral rights for the residents of Mostar. In July 2020, the Bosnian Parliament amended the electoral law to allow for local elections in Mostar to be held in December 2020. Bešlić, due to his health issues (he was in need of a heart and kidney transplant) did not run as candidate councillor. He was succeeded as mayor by fellow HDZ BiH member Mario Kordić on 15 February 2021, marking the end of Bešlić's seventeen year mayorship.
Ljubo was married to Dubravka Bešlić, with whom he had three children.
He died on 3 September 2021 in Zagreb, Croatia, aged 63, due to the consequences of COVID-19 which aggravated his heart failure. Bešlić had already been subject to a heart transplant earlier in February.
- "Preminuo Ljubo Bešlić, bivši gradonačelnik Mostara" (in Bosnian). Dnevni avaz. 3 September 2021. Retrieved 4 September 2021.
- CC BiH, U-9/09
- ECtHR, Baralija vs BiH
- R.D. (15 February 2021). "Mario Kordić (HDZ) je novi gradonačelnik Mostara" (in Bosnian). Klix.ba. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
- G.Š. (18 February 2021). "Bivši gradonačelnik Mostara Ljubo Bešlić dobio novo srce, transplantacija uspješno završena" (in Bosnian). Klix.ba. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
- Mostar mayors at mostar.ba