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Bosnia: Izetbegovic Wins Presidency Chairmanship

Sarajevo, 18 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Muslim Alija Izetbegovic has narrowly won the post of chairman in the country's three-person collective presidency, according to the organization responsible for conducting Saturday's voting in Bosnia-Herzegovina

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) made the announcement in Sarajevo today, where it released what are being termed provisional final results. Izetbegovic won some 729,000, nearly 40,000 more than his closest challenger, Bosnian Serb candidate Momcilo Krajisnik.

Krajisnik and Bosnian Croat candidate Kresimir Zubak will join Izetbegovic on the three-person presidency after winning the most votes within their ethnic communities. The next elections are in two years.

Under the Dayton peace accords, the presidency is to aim toward consensus in decision-making. If any member dissents from a decision, the measure can be blocked by a vote of parliamentarians of their own ethnic community serving in the Republika Srpska or in the Muslim-Croat Federation.

The OSCE also announced today that Izetbegovic's party, the nationalist Party of Democratic Action, won an absolute majority in the Muslim-Croat parliament. The OSCE also said that Biljana Plavsic appeared likely to win the presidency in the Republika Srpska.

The OSCE also released incomplete returns from voting for the lower, and only directly elected, body of Bosnia-Herzegovina's national parliament -- the 42-member House of Representatives.

In the Federation, which elects two-thirds of the members, Izetbegovic's SDA is winning 56 percent of the vote, compared to Zubak's Croat Democratic Union, which is winning 21 percent of the vote.

In voting in the Bosnian Serb entity, which elects one-third of members to the nationwide parliament, Krajisnik's Serb Democratic Party is winning 66 percent of the vote.