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Bosnia: Bildt Defines Post-Election Strategy

Brussels, 6 September 1996 (RFE/RL) - International mediator Carl Bildt today said he would attempt to set up common institutions in Bosnia as soon as possible after the September 14 national elections.

Bildt said he had already held intensive discussions with the candidates for a three-person rotating national presidency. He hopes they would be able to assume legal authority for the country within ten days of the polls being certified legal.

Bildt also said he would attempt to announce transitional arrangements for operating the council of ministers, the constitutional court and the central bank immediately following the election. Bildt was speaking after briefing NATO ambassadors in Brussels on preparations for the polls for local and national presidencies and assemblies.

NATO Secretary General Javier Solana has voiced the alliance's "full support" for the elections.

"We are going to do whatever is possible to ensure that the polls proceed smoothly," he said.

But France's AFP news agency reports that leaders of several of the main parties in Bosnia's Moslem-Croat federation meet today to discuss calling a joint boycott of the elections in response to widespread allegations of abuse of voter registration rules.

Officials from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) yesterday extended the deadline for votes from refugees living abroad in response to what they called "organizational problems." Ballots will now be accepted from refugees until September 14.