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Bosnia calls Oct.7 elections, sparks instability fears
May 09, 2018
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SARAJEVO: A general election will be held in Bosnia on Oct.7, the electoral commision announced Tuesday, but the polls threaten to increase instability in the fragile ethnically-divided Balkan country.

Even before the commission announced the polls Borjana Kristo, vice-president of the main Croat party HDZ, warned Tuesday that Bosnia is heading “toward a serious constitutional crisis”.

Croat officials question the electoral model introduced by the Dayton peace agreement that ended the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia, which claimed 100,000 lives.

According to Croats, the system is unfair to their community that makes 15 per cent of country’s 3.5 million people, half of whom are Muslims and 31 per cent Serbs.

Post-war Bosnia is built on a complex disfunctional institutional system with increasingly weak central institutions.

The country is composed of two semi-independent entities, Serb-run Republika Srpska and Federation of Croats and Muslims.

Estimating that their ethnic group is subjected to Muslim domination by the system, several Bosnian Croat officials have for years been demanding a separate entity for themselves.

Bosnian Muslim leader Bakir Izetbegovic has warned that it would be impossible to create a third entity “without the war”.

Bosnian Croat politician Bozo Ljubic said it was “tragic that (Muslims) do not see that their politics lead toward instability and the dissolution of the state.”

The Croats were supported by Bosnian Serb political leader Milorad Dodik, who has been accused of wanting to further weaken central power in Bosnia.

The Croats have also obtained a Constitutional court ruling, which in December 2016 revoked several articles of the electoral law that could eventually prevent the creation of a government of the Croat-Muslim entity.

Agence France-Presse

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