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Bosnia: OSCE Refuses To Confirm Early Vote Results

Sarajevo, 25 November 1997 (RFE/RL) - The international organization monitoring last weekend's two-day parliamentary elections in the Bosnian Serb entity said today that it has counted all ballots cast at polling stations there. Results will not be reported until all refugee ballots are counted.

However, Luke Zahner, a spokesman for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), said it will take until around December 10 to count ballots cast by refugees outside the entity. Zahner said that until then, the OSCE would not confirm or deny partial results reported by others.

His comments came as Bosnian Serb radio and television cited election officials in the entity reporting partial, unofficial results showing hardline nationalists in the lead. The reports said the Serb Democratic Party (SDS) allied with the entity's former president, indicted war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic, is leading with some 33 percent. The more moderate Serb National Alliance of President Biljana Plavsic was in second with just under 20 percent while the hardline Radicals had over 19 percent.

News reports emphasized that most who voted by absentee ballot and whose votes are still uncounted are likely opponents of Karadzic and the SDS.