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Saturday, 19 October, 2002, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Nationalists triumph in Bosnia poll
A ballot box is emptied in Sarajevo
It has taken two weeks to count the votes

Final results from the general election in Bosnia-Hercegovina show that nationalist parties have gained the upper hand in the country's legislatures.

The three presidential seats have also gone to nationalist parties.

The international community had been hoping that the pro-reform government which had been in power for the past two years would have done better.

There is now a real opportunity for the nationalist parties which led Bosnia into war during the 1990s to take power once again.

Coalition talks

It's taken two weeks for all the votes to be counted and for all the seats to be allocated, but the initial reports have been confirmed.

A voter looks at the list of candidates
At 55%, voter participation slumped in these polls
The tripartite presidency representing the country's three constituent peoples has been won by Serb, Croat and Muslim nationalist parties.

Although the presidential posts have only a largely symbolic role, they have been previously held by three moderate parties.

The winners were:

  • Mirko Sarovic of the Serb Democratic Party (SDS)
  • Dragan Covic of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ)
  • Sulejman Tihic of the mainly Muslim Party of Democratic Action (SDA)
Much political power lies in the two regional assemblies representing the Croat Muslim half of the country and the Serb half of the country.

In the Croat Muslim assembly, nationalist parties are now in a position to take power.

In the Serb assembly nationalists suffered a small setback.

Nationalists also improved their positions in the state parliament.

The Muslim and Croat nationalist parties are believed to be in negotiations about forming a coalition government.

Although the international community in Bosnia is disappointed by the re-emergence of the nationalists, some believe they no longer represent the hardline views of 10 years ago.

If these parties do indeed take power, they'll have an early opportunity to show if they really have changed.

See also:

14 Oct 02 | Europe
06 Oct 02 | Europe
04 Oct 02 | Europe
01 Jul 02 | Europe
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