Banja Luka, Bosnia; 21 November 1997 (RFE/RL) - The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) disqualified today three candidates from Radovan Karadzic's ultra-nationalist party.
The OSCE, which is organizing elections to be held this weekend in the Bosnian Serb Republic, ordered the party yesterday to remove posters showing Karadzic's face and the caption: "The people's will." An OSCE panel declared the disqualifications today when it was evident the party was defying the order.
Karadzic is a former Bosnian Serb leader who has been indicted by the UN War Crimes tribunal in The Hague. Under an agreement signed in July 1996 with Western officials, Karadzic resigned as Bosnian Serb president and as head of the Serb Democratic Party and pledged to stay out of politics and public affairs.
The elections were called to settle a power struggle between elements loyal to Karadzic and those backing Bosnian Serb President Biljana Plavsic.