bne IntelliNews – First Official Bosnian Election Results Put Nationalists Leading After Exit Polls Predict Losses

Early preliminary results from Bosnia and Herzegovina‘s central election commission, CIK, show that the country’s leading nationalist politicians did better than exit polls indicated immediately after the Oct. 2 election.

Based on 50% of all votes counted, the CIK announced that the winners in the race for the tripartite state-level presidency are Bosnian Denis Becirovic, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the Serbian Zeljka Cvijanovic from the Alliance of Social Democratic Independents (SNSD) and Croatian Borjana Kristo from the centre-right Croatian Democratic Party (HDZ).

Meanwhile, SNSD leader Milorad Dodik appears to be the winner of the Republika Srpska presidential race, according to preliminary CIK results. Dodik is ahead of opposition candidate Jelena Trivic of the center-right Democratic Progress Party (PDP) with 48.8% to 42.69% of the vote.

Bosnia is divided into two self-governing entities – the Muslim-Croat Federation and Republika Srpska plus the self-governing district of Brcko. It also consists of three constituent peoples – Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims), Serbs and Croats.

On October 2, Bosnians voted for members of the state-level tripartite presidency, which includes a representative from each of the constituent peoples, as well as for the state-level parliament, local parliaments and the president. of the Republika Srpska.

For the state-level presidency, the change from the exit polls conducted by some political parties on election night is that Kristo wins ahead of Zeljko Komsic, who is the current Croatian member of the presidency. . The night before, it was Komsic who celebrated the victory.

As expected, Bakir Izetbegovic of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) lost the race to become the Bosnian member of the state-level presidency, making him the only nationalist leader not to win his seat.

However, Izetbegovic’s SDA did better in the Federation where it won the parliamentary elections with more than 140,000 votes (24.87%), followed by the coalition HDZ BIH, HSS, HSP BIH, HKDU, HSPAS, HDU , HSPHB, HRAST – which, according to the latest results, received 109,743 votes (19.43%). They are followed by the Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina (SDP) with 12.42% and the Democratic Front (DF) with 9.49%.

Dodik’s nationalist SNSD also won most seats in the Republika Srpska parliament with 42.44% of the vote, followed by the SDS with 18.83%, the PDP with 11.17% and Nebojsa Vukanovic’s list with 5.24%.

Competitive but divisive

Meanwhile, international observers noted the general election was competitive, but divisive rhetoric and stalled reforms have raised concerns.

“The elections took place against a backdrop of continued political stalemate and widespread disillusionment with the political establishment, with some key institutions blocked. The largest ruling parties have frequently used ethnically divisive rhetoric as a standard form of debate,” observers noted in a joint statement Oct. 3.

At the same time, pressure has been exerted on public sector employees. There were also frequent instances where the secrecy of the vote was often compromised, and there were also instances of unauthorized persons monitoring voters and assisting multiple voters.

“The general disillusionment with the political establishment is evident, but I have noticed the efforts of a few forward-looking candidates to spark political and socio-economic change in the country, which is a positive trend that I encourage. new elected officials to be developed,” Pascal Allizard, special coordinator and head of the OSCE’s short-term observers, said in the statement.

The statement also noted that with a few notable exceptions, women did not feature prominently in the campaign and female candidates “were often the targets of insults and mockery on social media.”

People’s choice has also been limited by the absence of public debate and the use of divisive rhetoric accompanied by limited and biased media coverage.

“The mission’s media monitoring concluded that coverage of the campaign by most media outlets was significantly limited,” Ambassador Peter Tejler, head of the ODIHR election observation mission, said in the statement.

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