Bosnia election results fuel ethnic divisions

BOSNIA’S election results showed moderates gaining ground in the central government, but hard-liners remained entrenched in the Serb entity, casting a shadow yesterday over the country’s European future.

Moderate Bakir Izetbegovic was set to secure the main Muslim seat in Bosnia’s tripartite presidency after Sunday’s vote, according to partial results.

The Serbs meanwhile re-elected hardline Bosnian Serb nationalist Nebojsa Radmanovic, who has advocated secession of the Serb-run Republika Srpska.

The current Croat member of the presidency, Zeljko Komsic, won another four-year term with 60% of the vote.

Almost 15 years since the Bosnian war ended, Muslims, Croats and Serbs remain deeply divided along ethnic lines and mistrust between the country’s two semi-independent entities – the Republika Srpska (RS) and the Muslim-Croat Federation – has widened.

They each have their own government and are linked by weak central institutions based in Sarajevo.

The international community has been pushing for more centralisation, which is seen as crucial for reforms needed as Bosnia prepares to make an eventual bid for membership in the EU and NATO.

In the RS, Bosnian Serb nationalist hardline leader Milorad Dodik won the entity’s own presidential elections, partial results showed.


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