Election commission confirms preliminary results of Bosnia general vote

Election Commission officials count votes after presidential and parliamentary elections at a polling station in a school in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina October 2, 2022. REUTERS/Amel Emric

SARAJEVO, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Bosnia's election commission (CIK) confirmed preliminary results of Oct. 2 presidential and parliamentary elections on Saturday, showing the dominance of nationalist parties in parliaments at various levels of the Balkan country's governance.

The CIK also confirmed non-nationalist Croat and Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) candidates as winning the seats on the tripartite inter-ethnic presidency, and a candidate of a pro-Russian party securing the seat of the Serb presidency member.

Bosnia remains a dysfunctional and unstable state almost three decades since the devastating conflict between its Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks as former Socialist Yugoslavia collapsed.

The central, regional and local contests in the country, divided since the war into Bosniak-Croat and Serb autonomous regions with overarching common institutions, pitted entrenched nationalists against candidates seeking to reform the economy.

However, the CIK did not publish results for the president and vice-president of the Serb Republic, after it had ordered recount of ballots over complaints by the opposition that the vote was rigged by Serb separatist leader Milorad Dodik. read more

Dodik, who looks set to win the contest for the region's president against opposition candidate Jelena Trivic albeit in a tight race, said on Saturday he would file criminal charges against CIK for failing to publish the presidential results by the deadline on Saturday.

He announced a big rally on Tuesday in the region's de facto capital of Banja Luka to protest at what he called an illegal decision of CIK to order the recount of the ballots.

The opposition parties that had accused him of rigging the vote have held two big rallies in Banja Luka after the vote. They asked the CIK to repeat the election in the Serb Republic but the commission rejected their request.

Dodik, who has long advocated the secession of the Serb Republic from Bosnia and its unification with neighbouring Serbia, said the region will in the future organise an election on its own, in a clear defiance of state institutions.

Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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