UPDATES WITH NUMBER OF VOTES COUNTED AND LEADING CANDIDATES; NEW HEADLINE AND DECK
By Talha Ozturk
BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) – With over 84 percent of the vote counted in Sunday’s general elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina, two seats in the country’s tripartite presidency have clear winners, with a claim of victory in the third.
There are three members of the nation’s presidency — one Serb, one Bosniak, and one Croat — with a rotating chairmanship.
Milorad Dodik from the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) declared victory for the Serb seat with 53.8 percent of the votes tallied.
With 51.5 percent of the vote, incumbent Zeljko Komsic from the Democratic Front-DF is set to serve a third four-year term.
"I will try to make no mistakes in future political engagements. We will not tolerate interference in Bosnia's internal affairs," he said.
With 37.1 percent of the votes, Sefik Dzaferovic, the candidate of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA), claimed he is leading for the Muslim Bosniak seat.
SDA head Bakir Izetbegovic hailed the apparent victory, saying: "The SDA was the most powerful political party, as usual."
In Sunday’s parliamentary votes, the SDA got 25.3 percent of the votes in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina parliament, while the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) captured 32 percent of the vote in the Republika Srpska parliament.
According to election authorities, 53.35 percent of voters — or 1.73 million people — cast ballots at 5,794 polling stations.
The Republika Srpska said that a ballot box had been damaged by a brawl at a polling place in the northeastern city of Bijeljina, resulting in the suspension of voting for an hour.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has two entities, 10 cantons, and an autonomous region. The country's complex political structure, economic woes, and memories of the 1990s war make elections even more complicated.
Voters choose representatives of the national parliament, the three-member national presidency, the parliaments of the country’s two entities, and other bodies.
They elect parliamentarians of the two councils — the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska, the country's two constitutional entities.
They also vote for members of the Bosnian federation's 10 cantons.
Fifteen candidates — six Bosnians, five Croats, and four Serbs — competed for seats on the three-member Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
– 67 parties, 34 independent candidates, 34 alliances
The Bosnia and Herzegovina election authority cleared 67 political parties to participate in the elections — the highest figure since the 2002 elections.
The elections also saw 34 independent candidates and 34 alliances at various levels of state functions.
In total nearly 7,500 candidates ran for 518 posts, an average of 14 candidates per post.