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Bosniaks boycott Srebrenica elections


Bosniaks boycott Srebrenica elections

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Photo: Jennifer Boyer/Flickr

Bosniak political parties are set to boycott local elections in Srebrenica today.

Ethnic tensions in Srebrenica still linger 25 years after the massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims by the Bosnian Serb army. Today’s elections are a re-run of local elections held last November. Incumbent Mladen Grujicic, an ethnic Serb, was re-elected for the Srebrenica mayor in an election that was subsequently annulled by Bosnia’s Central Election Commission due to voter fraud.

Bosniak politicians are calling for today’s boycott because the new elections will not allow a re-cast of absentee votes. They believe mail-in votes should also be annulled since voting materials were sent late, preventing refugees living abroad from voting and likely costing Bosniak politicians the election.

If Grujicic wins, Bosniaks may take the issue to the Bosnian Constitutional Court. Ethnic tensions are likely to heighten in the medium-term, as Bosniaks, remembering the Srebrenica massacre, are sensitive to signs their voices are being diluted. Tensions between the central government and the Republic of Srpska (RS) are also likely to heighten. Expect ethnic Serb politicians, specifically RS President Milorad Dodik, to use today’s elections to protect their power and gain more independence from the central government.

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