Paddy Ashdown: British marine who led Bosnia with an iron fist

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Paddy Ashdown: British marine who led Bosnia with an iron fist
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AFP/File / Elvis BARUKCIC
Paddy Ashdown in 2005, when he was de facto chief of Bosnia

Paddy Ashdown, who died on Saturday aged 77, was a former marine and British opposition politician who served as the highest worldwide envoy in Bosnia following the Yugoslav Wars.

Ashdown stepped down from his put up in Bosnia in 2006 after almost 4 years in cost however had been on the forefront of peace efforts within the Balkans lengthy earlier than his stint.

Taking on the position after Sweden’s Carl Bildt, Carlos Westendorp of Spain and Austria’s Wolfgang Petritsch, Ashdown rapidly constructed a fame as a no-nonsense implementor of powerful measures to assist the nation get well from its 1992-1995 warfare.

AFP/File / KOCA SULEJMANOVIC
Ashdown with then Serbian President Boris Tadic in 2005

Throughout his mandate, Ashdown sacked corrupt officers and Bosnia accomplished some painful reforms geared toward strengthening central establishments on the expense of the 2 post-war entities — the Serbs’ Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation.

They notably included defence reforms geared toward merging two ethnically-divided armies into one, in addition to police pressure and customs and tax reforms.

In 2008, he was on the point of being appointed because the United Nations envoy to Afghanistan however withdrew from the position saying that he didn’t have the backing of the Afghan authorities.

Born in India in 1941, and often known as “Paddy” after the accent he acquired from spending a part of his childhood in Northern Eire, John Jeremy Durham Ashdown left college at 18 and joined the marines.

He left the armed forces in 1971 after spending his early years in uniform in Northern Eire, Borneo and Malaya. He joined the Overseas Workplace, which despatched him as a part of the British delegation in United Nations in Geneva.

5 years later he returned to Britain, the place earlier than coming into politics he labored as a businessman and social employee.

Ashdown’s gritty perspective and massive vitality ranges had been largely liable for remodeling the Liberal Democrats from political also-rans right into a viable opposition social gathering.

POOL/AFP/File / Steve Parsons
Paddy Ashdown poses after being made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for public and political service in 2015

Shortly after he took the reins of the social gathering in 1988, help had dwindled to 3 %.

However Ashdown quickly made some vital positive aspects from the Conservative authorities and was polled within the early 1990s because the most-liked British social gathering chief.

His profile soared once more in 1992 when he disclosed that, 5 years earlier, he had had a five-month-long affair along with his former secretary, incomes him the nickname “Paddy Pantsdown” in The Solar tabloid.

At his closing elections in 1997, the Liberal Democrats gained 19 % of the vote, securing the social gathering 46 seats, then a document displaying for a 3rd social gathering in Britain.

Ashdown was staunchly pro-federalist in direction of Europe and favoured a typical European international and defence coverage impartial of the USA.

POOL/AFP/File / Stefan Rousseau
Paddy Ashdown (R) telecampaigning with then British prime minister David Cameron as a part of the ‘Stay’ marketing campaign forward of the 2016 Brexit referendum

He campaigned for Britain to remain within the European Union within the 2016 referendum and, after shedding, based a cross-party centrist motion referred to as “Extra United”.

He was knighted underneath his actual title of Jeremy in 2000 and was made a member of parliament’s higher Home of Lords.

Married, with two youngsters, Ashdown lived in Yeovil, southwest England.



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