Reports: Nationalists lose in Bosnia election | Current Europe | DW

Bosnia and Herzegovina |  Parliamentary elections |  Denis Becirovic

After counting 61 percent of the votes, the Social Democrat Denis Becirovic leads the race for the Bosniak seat in the state presidency with 55 percent of the votes ahead of the leader of the Muslim nationalist SDA party, Bakir Izetbegovic, who achieved 41 percent. The local reports are based on information from the party headquarters, which had the partial results. Official results are not expected until this Monday.

Bosnia and Herzegovina |  Parliamentary elections |  Denis Becirovic

Denis Becirovic casts his vote in Tuzla

Becirovic’s victory would mean that for the first time in 12 years no SDA politician would be represented in the state presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina. According to the partial results, the previous incumbent, the reformer Zeljko Komsic, is likely to have prevailed in the race for the Croatian seat. He is said to have accounted for 67 percent of the votes.

The Serbian seat, on the other hand, is likely to remain in the hands of nationalists. The candidate of the SNSD, which governs the Serbian part of the country, Zeljka Cvijanovic, is said to have won 60 percent of the votes. She is a confidant of the Serbian separatist Milorad Dodik, who previously held the Serbian seat in the state presidency. This time he ran for the presidential post in the Serbian part of the country and is reportedly ahead.

Bosnia and Herzegovina |  Parliamentary elections |  Milorad Dodik

Milorad Dodik, the leading Bosnian Serb politician, leaves the polling station in Laktasi

Complex voting system

The elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina took place against the background of growing ethnic conflicts. The vote was as complex as the country itself. At the level of the state institutions, the voters determined the state presidency, the federal parliament, the parliaments in the two largely independent parts of the country, the presidency in the Serbian Republic (RS) and the cantonal administrations in the Bosnian Croat Federation.

At the state level, the presidency consists of a Croat, a Bosniak Muslim and a Serb, who rotate in the presidency every eight months. The central government is responsible for the military, the judicial system, tax policy, foreign trade and diplomacy. The states have their own police, education and health systems.

The Long-Term Aftermath of Dayton

The complex and poorly functioning political system in the Balkan state emerged from the 1995 Dayton Agreement, which ended the civil war of the 1990s. Since 1995, the UN Security Council has appointed a High Representative to oversee the implementation of the peace agreement. The German Christian Schmidt currently holds the office. The envoy has formal powers to intervene in legislation and remove elected politicians. The office was originally scheduled to expire in 2007, but due to political instability and the failure of local politicians, the mandate was extended.

kle/wa (dpa, rtr, afp)


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