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Moderate Bosniak candidate leads in race for presidency seat

Denis Becirevic, a moderate Bosniak candidate, is leading the race for the seat in Bosnia’s tripartite, inter-ethnic presidency. Preliminary results based upon a partial vote count were revealed on Monday (3 October).

Becirevic (the Social Democratic Party member) won 55.78% of the votes against Bakir Izetbegovic (whose nationalist Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim), Party of the Democratic Action(SDA) has been at power since the end of the conflict in 1996.

Izetbegovic, who according the election commission won 39.31%, conceded defeat late Sunday (2 October).

Bosnia’s voters voted for the new collective presidency of the country and its lawmakers at national, regional, and local levels. This was in a battle between economic-focused reformists and entrenched nationalists.

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Bosnia is currently in its worst political crisis ever since the end its war in 1990s. This crisis was triggered by separatist policies by the Serb leadership, and threats of blockades from the Bosnian Croats.

After declaring victory, Becirovic said to reporters: “It’s time for a positive turn in Bosnia.”

Early Monday, election authorities announced that Borjana Kristo (nationalist Croatian Democratic Union) won 51.36% votes for the Croat presidency member. Moderate Zeljko Kosic was second with 48.64% votes, based upon 54.73% of all ballots.

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Komsic declared victory on Sunday after preliminary SDA results showed him ahead of Kristo, with 70.73%, based upon 80% of ballots counted.

Zeljka Cijanovic, an ally to the Bosnian Serb separatist proRussian leader Milorad Dodik won 51.65% votes in the race for the Serb member of Bosnia’s presidency.

According to the commission, it will continue to update preliminary results daily starting Monday.

Bosnia is divided into two regions, the Serb-dominated Serb Republic, and the Federation, which are both controlled by Bosniaks or Bosnian Muslims. They are linked by a weak central administration. Further, the Federation is divided into 10 cantons. The neutral Brcko region is located in the north.

Based on rival results, the race for Bosnia’s autonomous Serb Republic President between Dodik (an economist) and Jelena Trivic (an opposition candidate) still appeared inconclusive.

Croat political parties harshly criticized Komsic’s victory declaration. They complain that the majority of Bosniaks elect their president member. If Komsic wins, they have threatened to stop the formation of a regional administration.

Just an hour after the polls were closed, the international peace monitor for Bosnia made changes to the election law. He imposed strict deadlines and unblocking mechanisms to ensure the Federation’s functioning.

According to the election commission, turnout at 7 p.m. (1700 GMT), was 50%.

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EU Reporter publishes articles from a variety of outside sources which express a wide range of viewpoints. The positions taken in these articles are not necessarily those of EU Reporter.

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