SARAJEVO: Bosnians vote yesterday in an election as complex as the country itself, a nation fractured along ethnic lines and paralysed by competing power centres. The 1995 Dayton Peace Accords put an end to the devastating war that claimed 100,000 lives and displaced millions.
But critics say the tenuous arrangement — which divides the country into two semi-autonomous zones linked by a weak central government — has entrenched divides and left Bosnia a dysfunctional state In total: four presidents, two vice-presidents, five parliamentary houses and ten canton assemblies. For the central government, voters will elect two chambers of parliament plus the tripartite presidency, which is shared by a Croat, Bosnian Muslim and Serb who rotate chairs every eight months. Then come governments in Bosnia’s two so-called “entities” that were created after the war, carving the country along ethnic lines. In Republika Srpska (RS), the Serb-run entity which calls Banja Luka its capital, voters will choose MPs plus a president and two vice-presidents. —Agencies