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Milorad Dodik greeting Vladimir Putin in Moscow, 20 September 2022. Photo credit:

Bosnia-Herzegovina’s election outcome

The Muslim nationalist party SDA suffered a setback in Sunday's elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Their previous representative in the three-member state presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, lost to the pro-European social democrat Denis Becirovic.

Published: October 10, 2022, 8:02 am

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    The seat of the Croatians in the state presidium went again to the reformer Zeljko Komsic, the Serbs will be represented there in future by the nationalist Zeljka Cvijanovic (SNSD). This came to 53 percent of the votes. He is considered a confidant of the Serbian separatist Milorad Dodik, who previously held the Serbian seat in the state presidency.

    Dodik successfully defended his presidency in the smaller Bosnian entity, the Republika Srpska. According to the state election commission, after counting 81,91 percent of the ballot papers, Dodik received 48,80 percent of the votes, the leading opposition candidate Jelena Trivic 42,69 percent.

    Immediately after the election, Dodik gave the coordinates of his future political work. It is the right of the Republic of Srpska to work closely with Russia, he said on Wednesday, stressing that the West must respect this. “The main priority of our foreign policy is successful cooperation with Serbia, Russia, friendly Hungary, China and anyone else who wishes it,” Dodik told the Russian TASS agency.

    While he will seek talks with the West, the latter must recognize that an understanding “is no longer possible from the position of demanding complete submission and subordination”. Dodik pointed out that if the West wanted to speak, it must respect the foreign policy priorities of the Republic of Srpska, “which relate to the historically documented friendship between Russia and the Serbian people”.

    Dodik, who is said to have good relations with Kremlin chief Putin, recently pledged his full support for the Russian military action in Ukraine. Immediately afterwards he flew again to Moscow, where Putin called him a “friend of Russia” and wished him success in the elections.

    The three members of the Presidency are elected by plurality. In Republika Srpska voters elect the Serb representative, whilst in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina voters elect the Bosnian and Croat members. Voters registered in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina can vote for either the Bosnian or Croat candidate, but cannot vote in both elections.

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