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Srebrenica Mayoral Vote Recount Halted As Bosnian Police Move In

Mladen Grujicic

Mladen Grujicic

Srebrenica election authorities stopped a vote recount on October 5 after Bosnian police moved in to secure ballot boxes amid rising tensions over the election of a Serb as mayor.

Srebrenica was the scene of the Bosnian war's worst atrocity when 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed by Serb forces in July 1995.

Two decades later, Muslims and Serbs live side by side, but many Muslims felt uneasy when a preliminary vote count after the election on October 2 showed that a Bosnian Serb, Mladen Grujicic, had won by 70 percent.

Election authorities ordered a recount, but that was interrupted when Bosnian Serb police entered their offices and questioned their chief on October 5.

"This is direct pressure on the work of the municipal election commission," said election chairman Nermin Alivukovi, adding that vote counters would await further instructions from Bosnia's Central Election Commission before proceeding.

Grujicic has already declared victory, but his opponent, outgoing Muslim Mayor Camil Durakovic, refused to concede defeat until postal votes were counted.

The preliminary count showed Grujicic won with 4,000 votes and Durakovic received 1,645. However, the postal votes of some 3,200 people, mostly Muslims, remain uncounted.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters