Bosnia’s Dodik declared winner in disputed election after recount | Elections News

Milorad Dodik wins the race for president of the nation’s Serb entity, following a recount after the opposition cried foul, election officers announce.

Bosnian Serb political chief Milorad Dodik has been declared the winner of the presidency of Bosnia’s Serb entity, election officers introduced, following a recount after the opposition cried foul.

Thursday’s outcome comes weeks after Bosnians cast ballots in a dizzying range of contests in early October that included a race for the president of Republika Srpska (RS) – the nation’s Serb entity.

Bosnia has been ruled by a dysfunctional administrative system created by the 1995 Dayton Accords that succeeded in ending the battle within the Nineties, however largely failed in offering a framework for the nation’s political growth.

The recount “confirmed that the candidate Milorad Dodik representing the Serb individuals and who was within the lead… and remained so with the best variety of votes gained,” mentioned Suad Arnautovic, chairman of the Central Election Fee of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The ultimate figures for the race have been nonetheless being compiled, in accordance with officers, who mentioned the opposition nonetheless had a slim window to contest their findings.

A preliminary depend following the election gave the victory for the RS presidency to Dodik – with the Kremlin-friendly chief successful 48 % of the vote in comparison with 43 % for opposition candidate Jelena Trivic.

The Central Election Fee mentioned the repeated depend revealed quite a few irregularities it had notified judicial authorities about, however that none have been on a degree that will have modified the end result of the vote.

Stoking tensions

On the day after the election, opposition events accused Dodik and his occasion of “organised plundering of the elections” and demanded a recount.

Thursday’s announcement comes simply days after Dodik rallied 1000’s of supporters within the RS’s capital of Banja Luka, the place the longtime chief of the nation’s Serbs remained defiant that he can be victorious within the race for the presidency.

“I’m right here tonight to let you know that Milorad Dodik goes nowhere. Milorad Dodik might be within the presidential palace very quickly,” Dodik advised the group.

Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik waves a Serbian flag during a protest against state election commission of Bosnia, which is likely to announce a re-run of presidential elections following allegations of fraud in favor of Dodik in the Bosnian town of Banja Luka, 240 kms northwest of Sarajevo, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022. Opposition leaders claim that their candidate Jelena Trivic is the winner, and that Dodik rigged the ballot. (AP Photo/Radivoje Pavicic)
Bosnian Serb chief Milorad Dodik waves a Serbian flag throughout a protest towards the Central Election Fee of Bosnia and Herzegovina within the metropolis of Banja Luka on Tuesday [Radivoje Pavicic/AP Photo]

The recount cements Dodik’s third time period because the president of the RS, after he accomplished a stint within the tripartite presidency.

For years, Dodik has been stoking tensions along with his frequent requires Bosnia’s Serbs to separate even farther from the nation’s central establishments, incomes him fresh sanctions from the United States in January.

Working on an anti-corruption ticket, Dodik’s rival Trivic – a 39-year-old professor of economics – sought to supply a substitute for RS voters, whereas additionally trumpeting the Serbs’ need to keep up their autonomy in Bosnia.

Three events supporting Trivic held two huge rallies within the metropolis of Banja Luka, asking for the recount of ballots.

Dodik, who has long pursued separatist policies, this week reiterated that his political aim was the secession of the Serb entity from Bosnia.

On Thursday the US Embassy in Sarajevo responded on Twitter, saying that any motion taken in the direction of Bosnia’s dissolution would violate the 1995 Dayton peace settlement and “carry grave penalties”.

“There isn’t a justification for responding to plain election integrity and accountability measures with the damaging and irresponsible rhetoric about secession that we heard Monday in Banja Luka,” the embassy mentioned.

“Neither Dayton, nor the Structure of [Bosnia & Herzegovina], presents any entity the appropriate to secede.”

October’s elections noticed the three established ethnic events safe main wins.

The lone exception was the defeat of Bakir Izetbegovic, a two-time member of the nation’s tripartite presidency who additionally leads the principle Bosniak occasion – the Social gathering of Democratic Motion (SDA).

Izetbegovic was clobbered by Denis Becirovic in a double-digit landslide win.

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