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Bosnia: Nationalist Parties Lead Voting For Parliaments


Sarajevo, 19 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- The main nationalist parties in Bosnia-Herzegovina are leading in still-incomplete vote counting for seats in the country's federal and regional parliaments.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has released new figures which show that the Muslim Party of Democratic Action (SDA), the Serb Democratic Party (SDS), and the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ) are the top vote winners for seats in the 42-member federal House of Representatives.

In the Federation, which elects two-thirds of the members, the Muslim SDA is winning 55 percent of the vote and the Croat HDZ 23 percent. The less nationalist Party for Bosnia-Herzegovina, led by former Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic, trails with 8 percent.

In voting in the Bosnian Serb entity, which elects one-third of members to the nationwide parliament, the Serb SDS is winning 54 percent, followed by 21 percent for the Muslim SDA. Observers say most of the SDA's share came from Muslim refugees now living outside the Serb entity. The Belgrade-backed Democratic Patriotic Bloc was winning 12 percent. Final returns from Saturday's voting are expected later today.

A similar distribution of votes is also reported in races for separate assemblies in the Bosnian-Croat Federation and the Republika Srpska.

Yesterday, the OSCE announced that the Muslim SDS's Alija Izetbegovic narrowly beat the Serb SDA's Momcilo Krajisnik in the race to chair the country's three-person collective presidency. Krajisnik and the Croat HDZ's Kresimir Zubak will hold the other two seats.

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