Moderate Croatian and Bosniak candidates are leading the race for

Moderate Croatian and Bosniak candidates are leading the race for the presidential seats

  • Bosnia votes in the midst of a political crisis
  • Moderate Croatian Bosniak leaders will win seats in the presidency
  • International peacekeeper forces changes to electoral law

SARAJEVO (Portal) – Moderate Croatian and Bosniak candidates Zeljko Komsic and Denis Becirevic are leading in the run-up to the seat in Bosnia’s tripartite inter-ethnic presidency, preliminary results from the Democratic Action Party (SDA) showed on Sunday.

It turned out that Bosnian voters chose the country’s new collective presidency and legislators at the national, regional and local levels in a competition between mainstream nationalists and pro-business reformists.

The first official results are expected at midnight (22:00 GMT), but the SDA has released its own results based on 80% of the votes counted.


Komsic, the leader of the Democratic Front (DF) party, seemed poised to win the fourth term of the presidency by defeating a rival candidate from Croatia’s largest Democratic Community (HDZ) with 70.7% of the vote.

Becirevic, a member of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) backed by 11 bourgeois opposition parties, won 56.5% of the vote ahead of Bakir Izetbegovic, whose nationalist Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) SDA party has been in power since the end of the war. Izetbegovic suffered a defeat late on Sunday.

“It seems to me that we can talk about a change on the political stage of Bosnia and Herzegovina, albeit not a radical one,” Komsic said, declaring the victory.

Bosnia is going through the worst political crisis since the end of the war in the 1990s, triggered by the separatist policies of the Serbian leadership and threats of a blockade by Bosnian Croats.

Zeljka Cvijanovic, an ally of Bosnian Serb pro-Russian separatist leader Milorad Dodik, was seen as the winner of the Serb seat in the tripartite inter-ethnic presidency, according to her preliminary SNSD party results, based on a small sample.

The race for the post of president of the autonomous Serb Republic of Bosnia between Dodik and opposition economics professor Jelena Trivic still seemed fruitless.

Bosnia consists of two autonomous regions, the Serb-dominated Serb Republic and the Federation, shared by Bosniaks or Bosnian Muslims and Croats, linked by a weak central government. The Confederation is further divided into 10 cantons. In the north there is also the neutral district of Brcko.

Komsic’s victory was heavily criticized by Croatian political parties, who complain that the majority of Bosniaks choose their presidential member. They have threatened to block the formation of a regional government if Komsic wins.

But just an hour after the polls closed, the International Peacekeeper for Bosnia imposed changes to the electoral law, imposing unblocking mechanisms and strict deadlines to ensure the functioning of the federation.

The Electoral Commission said turnout was 50% as of 7pm (1700 GMT). The Commission will announce preliminary voting results around midnight (2200 GMT).


Additional coverage by Portal TV and Ivana Sekularac; Editing by Jan Harvey, Alexander Smith and Nick Macfie; Editing by Diane Craft

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