Election posters in Sarajevo on September 30, the day before Bosnians went to the polls (epa)
A DEEPLY DIVIDED LAND.
Bosnia-Herzegovina goes to the polls deeply divided after months of tough campaigning exposed wounds still raw from the 1992-95 war among Serbs, Croats and Muslims.
Some 2.75 million Bosnians are registered to vote for a tripartite presidency and central parliament, choosing from 36 parties, eight coalitions, and 12 independent candidates.
Voters will also choose deputies for the two autonomous regions, electing a new president, vice-president and parliament in the Republika Srpska and deputies for the assemblies of the Muslim-Croat federation and its 10 cantons.
Most Muslim parties advocate the abolition of both regions, claiming the Republika Srpska was founded on ethnic cleansing and that Bosnia can never become a viable state if one half demands a separate identity.
Croat parties want effective protection of their distinct rights, with some tentative calls to create a third entity.
Most Republika Srpska parties stand for preserving autonomy and oppose the creation of a single police force, a key European Union demand for advancing Bosnia's membership bid.
SOURCES: International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies, UN Development Program, Reuters
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