The Bosniaks of Srebrenica boycotted the repeat elections in that city in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), where Serb forces committed genocide against the Bosniak population in July 1995, and the joint candidate of the Serb parties for mayor, Mladen Grujicic, was elected mayor.
The elections were boycotted at the invitation of the coalition of political parties Initiative “My Address: Srebrenica” because the voting by mail for Srebrenica residents living around the world was not repeated.
Grujicic, who was mayor in the last term (elected in the 2016 elections), received 67.62 per cent of the vote as the candidate of several Serb parties in a coalition called “Together for Srebrenica”.
Alija Tabakovic, the candidate of the coalition of Bosniak parties “My Address: Srebrenica”, won 31.70 percent of the vote.
Independent candidate Mile Janjic 0.36 percent and Aleksandar Simic, also an independent candidate, 0.31 percent of the vote.
Grujicic told Radio Free Europe (RFE) after election day that “even if there had been no boycott by Bosniak parties”, the difference in his favor would “be great” and he would win a new term as mayor.
“That is why I think that the boycott of the elections is a justification for Bosniaks who knew that they would not have a chance to achieve better results than in November, when I had an advantage of 1,200 votes over my opponent Alija Tabakovic. Citizens, Serbs and Bosniaks showed dignity. they boycotted the elections, they did not create problems, “Grujicic said.
Due to the boycott, it could happen that, in addition to the mayor of the Serbian nationality, the composition of the municipal assembly will be mono-ethnic, ie without Bosniaks.
Elections in Srebrenica and Doboj in the north of the country were repeated after those already held on November 15 this year due to numerous irregularities.
Most often, it was about voting without valid documents of the state of BiH or their falsification, fictitious reports of the place of residence, forgery of signatures, disabling the presence of observers, etc.
Appeal to the Constitutional Court
Sadik Ahmetović, President of the Election Headquarters of the “My Address: Srebrenica” Initiative, told RFE / RL that Bosniaks respected the decision of this Initiative and did not go to the polls.
When asked what happened with the boycott, Ahmetović said: “We continue our fight in several directions. We expect the BiH Constitutional Court to uphold our appeal, which allows all Bosniaks from Srebrenica to vote, wherever they may be. In this regard, we expect new elections to be called in which every citizen of Srebrenica would have the right to choose their candidates. Only in that way, the elections in Srebrenica would be legitimate and democratic, “Ahmetovic said.
He added that the success of the repeat local elections in Srebrenica was in the best order and that there were no incidents that would disrupt the established coexistence between Serbs and Bosniaks.
The appeal was submitted to the Constitutional Court a few days before the repeat elections, and it was requested that the Constitutional Court issue a measure repealing the repeated elections.
This week in Srebrenica, 42.87 percent of voters went to the elections for mayor and the Municipal Assembly, and in Doboj, 55.43 percent went to the elections for mayor and councilors of the City Assembly, the CEC announced.
The data refer to 26 out of 28 regular polling stations in Srebrenica and to all 89 polling stations in Doboj.
The complete turnout for the entire Doboj and Srebrenica constituencies will be announced later.
On the streets and parking lots in Srebrenica on Sunday, on the day of the repeated elections, many cars with license plates of cities from Serbia were parked.
The large number of voters from Serbia in the November elections was one of the reasons for them to be annulled and new ones announced.
Two polling stations without a single voter
As a result of the boycott of the elections called for by the parties from the coalition “My Address: Srebrenica”, no voters appeared at the polling stations in Luka and Osmača.
An RFE reporter from Srebrenica reported that there were no crowds at other polling stations and that it was obvious that the elections were boycotted by Bosniaks, in line with the call for a boycott of the “My Address: Srebrenica” initiative.
That coalition of political parties had a joint candidate for mayor in the November elections.
To make the boycott complete, polling station members were withdrawn, as well as observers previously delegated from a coalition of the Party of Democratic Action, the Alliance for a Better Future, the Movement for Democratic Action and the Democratic Front.
Councilors who win enough votes for the new convocation of the municipal assembly are asked not to take over the mandates.
A few days before the repeat elections, representatives of several pro-Bosnian parties in Srebrenica supported the decision made by the “My Address: Srebrenica” Initiative.
“Political parties that supported our position and the common candidate for mayor, found in the values of this idea the least common denominator: the fight against discrimination and segregation, perseverance to achieve full equality of all citizens, commitment to the right to return and constant action. against policies that glorify war criminals, deny the verdicts of the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the Court of BiH, and finally, against those who deny the victims and the genocide in Srebrenica, “the Initiative said in a statement.
To complete the boycott, polling station members were withdrawn, as well as observers previously delegated from a coalition of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA), the Alliance for a Better Future (SBB), the Movement for Democratic Action and the Democratic Front (DF). Councilors who win enough votes for the new convocation of the municipal assembly are asked not to take over the mandates.
A boycott was supported by the Srebrenica Association
Munira Subašić, president of the Association of the Movement of Mothers of the Srebrenica and Žepa enclaves, together with other mothers of Srebrenica, supported the boycott of the elections in this city.
“Our commitment is to fight for justice, truth and democracy in Srebrenica. However, of all that, only shadows remained. What is happening is not democracy, because our fellow citizens have been deprived of their basic rights through genocide, and now also through elections, “Munira Subašić told RFE / RL.
She says that, according to her information, “about 60 Bosniaks” voted in Srebrenica.
“They were blackmailed, they had to go to the polls because they are employees of public institutions in Srebrenica,” says Subasic.
In Doboj, the SNSD declared victory
In Doboj, where Serbs make up about 70 per cent of the population, Boris Jerinic, who was mayor of Doboj in the previous term, was re-elected.
Jerinic received 67.44 percent of the vote, Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) candidate Cvijan Filipovic won 16.20 percent and Srdjan Todorovic of the Socialist Party (SP) 16.36 percent.
At a press conference in Doboj after election day, Jerinic said that his victory was convincing, stating that “the landing on Doboj announced by the opposition failed.”
Jerinic was also elected mayor in the early local elections in February 2019, after the former mayor Obren Petrovic won the mandate of a member of the BiH Parliament.
The results of the elections for the Doboj City Assembly and the Srebrenica Municipal Assembly will be announced on Monday (February 22nd) morning.
The President of the Central Election Commission of BiH, Zeljko Bakalar, stated at the press conference that this commission did not receive any complaints related to violations of the election process, which are in the first instance competence of the CEC.
Three complaints have arrived from political parties, but they are under the jurisdiction of the Doboj City Election Commission, Bakalar said.
Coalition “Under the Magnifying Glass”: Persuasion and pressure
Representatives of the coalition of non-governmental organizations “Under the Magnifying Glass” announced at the end of the election day that their observers noted open persuasion to vote for a certain party or individual, ie intimidation and pressure on voters at three polling stations in Doboj and two in Srebrenica. .
Voting without valid identification documents was registered at eight polling stations, five of which are in Doboj and three in Srebrenica, it was said at a press conference in Doboj on Sunday evening.
Family voting was observed in more than half of the polling stations in both Doboj and Srebrenica.
At 22 polling stations, one person assisted a large number of voters to vote in the booth, of which 19 were in Doboj.
Remarks or objections were also recorded at fifteen polling stations in Doboj and at one polling station in Srebrenica.
More than a hundred civic, non-partisan observers of this coalition were provided with unimpeded access to all polling stations, unlike the elections on November 15 last year, when they were prevented from monitoring the voting process in Doboj. That was one of the reasons for the annulment of the elections in this city.
Four candidates fought for the post of Srebrenica mayor, while candidates from 22 political parties, four coalitions and one independent candidate were on the ballot for the municipal assembly.
There were three candidates from three political parties on the ballot for the election of the mayor of Doboj, while the ballot for the city assembly included candidates on behalf of 85 certified political entities (34 independent candidates, four coalitions and 47 political parties).
Municipal Assembly of Srebrenica – previous composition
In the previous term, the Coalition SDA, SBB and the Party for BiH had five councilors, SNSD also five, the Serbian Democratic Party (SDS), the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Democratic People’s Alliance (DNS) had two councilors each, there were two independent councilors. , and the Party of Democratic Progress (PDP), the Serbian Radical Party Dr Vojislav Seselj SRS and the People’s Democratic Movement (NDP) one councilor each.
Doboj City Assembly – previous composition
In the previous convocation, the majority were members of the SNSD, 14 of them. The Socialist Party (SP) had three councilors. The SDA, SDP and Democratic Alliance (DEMOS) had two councilors each. SDS, PDP, DNS, NDP and Ujedinjena Srpska had one councilor each.
In the November local elections, BiH citizens elected municipal mayors, as well as municipal and city assemblies in the Republika Srpska, and councils in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Elections for the Mayor of Mostar and the City Council were held on December 20, 2020.
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