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Karadzic Ads Anger Election Organizers in Bosnia


Trnovo, Bosnia, July 23 (RFE/RL) - Western organizers of the Bosnian election are investigating newspaper advertisements that link the nationalist Serbian Democratic Union (SDS) party candidates to indicted war criminal and former party leader Radovan Karadzic.

Joanna van Vliet of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which is organizing the election, said the ad will be discussed with SDS officials.

She said Karadzic had promised not to appear in public or the media for political purposes. She added that ads related to the SDS and the elections, with Karadzic on them, would not be acceptable to the organization.

Individuals indicted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal on the former Yugoslavia cannot be politically active, according to the Bosnian peace agreements.

Karadzic had renounced all his powers and agreed to stay out of politics under threats that the SDS would be barred from the September elections if he did not agree to do so.

The SDS advertisements in a Serb emigre newspaper, "Vesti," in Frankfurt, Germany, appealed to Serbs and non-Serbs to vote for Party leaders considered the closest associates of Radovan Karadzic.

The ad described Karadzic as "the firm fighter for a free and democratic Serb Republic." It said "our enemies hate him because he cannot be blackmailed."

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