Milorad Dodik

Commission Declares Bosnian Serb Leader Dodik Winner After Vote Recount

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The Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina has declared Milorad Dodik as the winner of an election for the presidency of the country’s Serbian entity, Republika Srpska, after a recount of ballots cast in the October 2 vote.

The commission said on October 27 that its members had voted 6-1 to approve the results of the recount launched because of questions about the integrity of the electoral process amid suspicions of electoral fraud that in some cases are backed by video evidence.

Dodik, who has denied the election fraud allegations, has been the most powerful politician in Republika Srpska for years. He has close relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, while the United States and Britain have placed sanctions on him for allegedly trying to undermine peace and stability in the country.

The recount “confirmed that the candidate Milorad Dodik representing the Serb people and who was in the lead…remained so with the greatest number of votes,” said Suad Arnautovic, chairman of Bosnia’s central election commission.

State prosecutors and police officers oversaw the recount, which took place in Sarajevo despite the objections of Dodik, who said the electoral process should be returned to Republika Srpska and that ballots should never again be counted in Sarajevo.

The main opposition parties — the Party of Democratic Progress, the Serbian Democratic Party, and List For Justice and Order — believe their candidate, Jelena Trivic, won. She declared victory on election night, but so did Dodik.

Unofficial results released hours after polls closed showed Dodik held an advantage of around 30,000 ballots over his opponent.

The commission did not give new vote totals after the recount.

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