Breaking Voters In Bosnia Herzegovina Head To Polls To Shape Country's Future SonDakika-Haberleri.Net

Breaking Voters In Bosnia Herzegovina Head To Polls To Shape Country's Future SonDakika-Haberleri.Net

02 Ekim 2022 - 12:14

Bosnia and Herzegovina citizens head to the polls Sunday to choose lawmakers at the canton, entity, and national levels, as well as the three members of the Presidential Council.
More than 5,900 ballot boxes across the country open at 7 a.m. local time (0500GMT) with polling stations to receive voters for 12 hours, according to the Central Election Commission, with 60,000 observers on duty on Election Day.
About 3.3 million people are expected to vote for members of parliament in the country's two entities -- the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska -- as well as 10 cantons within the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Voters are also choosing representatives for the national parliament Presidential Council and the national parliament.
Bosnia Herzegovina's political structure is often dubbed as one of the most complicated in the world.
A total of nine candidates are competing for the Bosniak, Serb and Croat members of the Presidential Council.
This is the least number of candidates since 2002 when the four-year mandate was introduced.
That year, 35 candidates competed for membership, with the number since rapidly falling with each election.
3 candidates are Bosniak, 2 Croat and 4 Serb
The presidency in the Balkan nation rotates every eight months among three members -- Bosniak, Serb, and Croat.
While the Bosniak and Croat members are elected from a joint constituency in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serb member is elected by voters in the Republika Srpska.
Three candidates will compete for the seat that is reserved for the Bosniak member of the Presidential Council.
The first candidate, Bakir Izetbegovic, is from the Democratic Action Party, the largest political party of Bosniaks. Denis Becirovic, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, is supported by the opposition bloc consisting of 11 political parties. Mirsad Hadzikadic, the candidate of the state coalition, was announced last year.
Two candidates will compete for the Croat seat at the council. The incumbent Croat member, Zeljko Komsic, is running for a second term with the support of a coalition group. The other candidate is Borjana Kristo.
The Serb member of the council will be determined by voters registered in the Serb entity from among four candidates.
The candidate of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, headed by the incumbent Serb member of the council Milorad Dodik, announced Zeljka Cvijanovic as its candidate. The Serb Democratic Party chose Mirko Sarovic, the former minister of foreign trade and economic relations. Vojin Mijatovic is the candidate of the Social Democratic Party and Nenad Nesic of the Democratic People's Alliance.
The Bosniak and Croat members of the Presidential Council are elected from votes in the two entity parliaments.
Voters in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina will choose representatives of the entity and cantonal parliaments as well as the national legislature -- Parliament of Bosnia Herzegovina.
Voters in the Republika Srpska will choose representatives of the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the presidency, as well as the vice president of the Republika Srpska and members of the entity's National Assembly.
Voting will be held across the 10 cantons of Sarajevo, Tuzla, Zenica-Doboj, Una-Sana, Central Bosnia, Herzegovina-Neretva, Bosnia-Podrinje, Western Herzegovina, On, and Posavina.
90 political parties
Ninety political parties have fielded their candidates. Also, 17 independent candidates are contesting.
According to the Bosnia and Herzegovina Election Commission, participation has been the highest since 2002.
Approximately 68,000 voters who registered abroad will be able to cast votes by mail or at ballot boxes set up at diplomatic representations.
The election campaigns will continue until the morning of Oct. 1, after which the election ban kicks in.
Allegations of new election law
There were reports in Bosnia and Herzegovina that Christian Schmidt, the high representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, would impose a new election law.
Media reports in July reported that by Aug. 1, German politician Schmidt would impose measures for the re-functioning of Bosnia's federation.
The alleged new law would determine how delegates are chosen from the House of Peoples of the Bosniak-Croat Federation entity's parliament.
If the law would be put in place, the founding nations of Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs will lose representatives of their ethnic population if any federation canton is less than 3%.
Under the current election law, at least one Bosniak, one Croat, and one Serb delegate are elected from each canton.
This would be the third time Schmidt uses the so-called "Bonn powers" after assuming office in August 2021.
The first time he did it was to annul a law on immovable property in Republika Srpska, a Serb-dominated entity.
The second time, Schmidt used his "Bonn powers" to finance the country's general elections on Oct. 2, allocating €6.5 million ($6.97 million) for the Central Election Commission.
The Office of the High Representative was established with the Dayton Peace Agreement that ended the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia Herzegovina.
The office oversees the implementation of the peace agreement on behalf of the international community. The high representative also coordinates the activities of international institutions operating in the country.
The high representative has the authority to dismiss anyone who interferes with the implementation of peace in the country, including members of the Presidential Council, and to pass laws as necessary.
The powers are dubbed "Bonn powers." -
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