Dodik Wins Presidency Seat in Bosnia Election

Balkan Insight
Publication date: 
Oct 08 2018

he hard-line Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik appeared set on Monday to take a seat on Bosnia's state presidency alongside Sefik Dzaferovic and Zeljko Komsic – in election results that are unlikely to ease Bosnia's political crisis.

Bosnia's politial future looked more uncertain on Monday after the hard-line Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik looked set to win the Serbian seat on Bosnia's three-member state presidency.

Polls closed at 7pm on Sunday in an election in which 3,352,933 voters were eligible to vote at 5,794 polling stations.

Data from the Central Election Commission, CIK, showed that the turnout at state level was 53.26 per cent, although these are incomplete.

Dodik's moderate opponent, Mladen Ivanic, candidate for the Alliance for Victory, has already conceded defeat in his own campaign for a presidential seat.

Well known for his close ties to Russia and for his belief that the Serb-led entity in Bosnia, Republika Srpska, should become an independent state, Dodik said the Serbian people and Republika Srpska would be his "priority".

“It’s a clear cut victory,” Dodik said in Banja Luka, the main city in Republika Srpska, according to the New York Times.

“I don’t care who the other two representatives in the presidency are. I am going there, to this presidency, to work above all and only for the interests of Serbs.”

In another potentially critical development, Zeljko Komsic apeared to have won the Croat seat on the state presidency over the leader of the main Croat party in Bosnia, Dragan Covic – who warned earlier that his party would not cooperate if Covic failed to retain his post on the presidency.

Sefik Dzaferovic, candidate of the main Bosniak Party of Democratic Action, SDA, will be the next Bosniak member of the state presidency, according to the first results.

Bosnians are electing a new state parliament, assemblies in the two entities, ten cantonal assemblies within one of the entities and the three-member state presidency.

A total of 518 positions are up for election. Three are seats on the state presidency, 42 are for the state parliament, 98 are for the assembly of the Federation entity, 83 are for the assembly of the Republika Srpska and three are for the president and vice-presidents of Republika Srpska.

There are 21 to 35 seats vacant in each of the Federation entity’s 10 cantonal assemblies.

The elections have been marked by allegations of fraud and of manipulation with the identities of deceased people who have remained in the ID system, as well as questions about the imbalance between the number of valid ID cards and the number of registered voters in and outside of Bosnia.

The election are overshadowed by the fact that there is currently no legal basis for the election of a new House of Peoples in the Federation entity – which means that no new governments can be fully formed in the Federation, or at state level.

The last general elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina were in 2014 when the voter turnout was 54.47 per cent.

NOTE: This article was amended on October 8 to include latest results from the Central Election Commission.

Mladen Lakic.