Bosnia & Herzegovina

BiH: Bosniak parties will abstain from by-elections in Srebrenica

Bosniak parties in Srebrenica have decided to boycott the upcoming by-elections in the municipality.

The BiH Central Election Commission (CEC) decided to annul the results of the November 15th elections in 26 of Srebrenica’s 28 polling stations due to numerous irregularities related to the voting process, stating that people without valid BiH documents they were allowed to vote.

The institution set the date for the repeat election process for February 21st.

Bosniak party Srebrenica mayoral candidate Alija Tabakoviov told the media that the boycott decision was final and that the ‘My Address: Srebrenica’ Initiative would urge voters to abstain from the polls.

However, My Initiative: Srebrenica Initiative said that the election authorities had not done enough and should also cancel the ballots for the Srebrenica local elections.

That is why the coalition has decided to boycott the upcoming elections.

“We will call on our voters not to go to the polls. This is our message; “We are not accepting what the Central Election Commission did, which deprived us of 800 postal ballots in the beginning,” Tabaković said.

Coalition candidates will still run in the election and if elected they will not accept the mandates, he said, explaining that the city would get a mono-ethnic assembly and a Serbian mayor.

“Our battle is to show that we can no longer tolerate injustice, that we can no longer deal with the discriminatory system of RS and Serbia, and in the end with bad decisions by the CEC,” Tabakovi argument argued.

He added that the CEC rejected 800 of the 1,600 votes in the November 2020 elections by Bosniaks abroad because they had arrived too late. The problem, however, was that the ballots did not reach Bosnian citizens abroad on time, he explained.

That is why postal voting should be repeated as well, he said.

“The voting did not arrive on time and the CEC and its mistakes are partly responsible, because they were late in sending the material. Their deadline was 45 days before the election. The first group was five days late, the second 20, the third 35 days. “They should have sent them all on October 1,” he said.

Tabaković stressed that those 800 votes could have decided the outcome of the election.

Republika Srpska Prime Minister Radovan Višković said on Tuesday that he did not believe the coalition would really boycott the upcoming repeat elections in the city.

“I’m afraid this is a new trick to put Serbian parties to sleep,” Višković said, speculating that the goal could be for the Bosniak coalition to suddenly call on its supporters to vote at some point to achieve victory.

“We (Serbs) will use our right to vote. “Once again I call on all citizens to go to the polls on the 21st. We will not react to their much-claimed boycott as if it did not happen at all,” he said, arguing that the coalition understood there was a problem when the CEC did not decide to repeat the elections regarding voters abroad.

This prevented the coalition from organizing election fraud, he stressed.

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