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

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

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

The BiH Central Election Commission (CEC) decided to annul the November 15 election results for 26 out of 28 polling stations in Srebrenica due to numerous irregularities regarding the voting process, determining that people without valid BiH documents were allowed to vote.

The institution set the date for the repeated election process for February 21.

Bosniak parties’ Srebrenica mayoral candidate Alija Tabaković said to the media that the decision to boycott was final and that the ‘My Address: Srebrenica’ Initiative will be calling on voters to abstain from the polls.

However, the My Address: Srebrenica Initiative said the election authorities had not done enough and should have also annulled the mail-in ballots for the Srebrenica local election.

This is why the coalition has decided to boycott the upcoming election.

“We will call on our voters not to head to the polls. That is our message; that we are not accepting what the Central Election Commission did, that it deprived us of 800 mail-in ballots at the very beginning,” Tabaković said.

The coalition candidates will still be running in the election and if elected they will not accept the mandates, he said, explaining that the town would get a mono-ethnic assembly and a Serb mayor.

“It is our battle to show that we can no longer tolerate injustice, that we cannot deal with the discriminatory system of the RS and Serbia, and in the end with bad decisions from the CEC,” Tabaković argued.

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

This is why mail-in voting should be repeated as well, he said.

“The ballots did not arrive timely 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 batch was five days late, the second 20, the third 35 days. They should have sent it all on October 1,” he said.

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

Republika Srpska PM Radovan Višković said on Tuesday that he does not believe the coalition will truly boycott the upcoming repeated election in this town.

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

“We (Serbs) will use our right to vote. I am once again calling on all citizens to head to the polls on the 21st. We will not react to their alleged boycott too much, as if it were not happening at all,” he said, arguing that the coalition realised it had a problem when the CEC did not decide to repeat the election concerning voters abroad.

This prevented the coalition from organising election fraud, he stressed. /ibna