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Bosnia: Social Democrats Claim Gains In Elections

Sarajevo, 9 April (RFE/RL) - The Social Democratic Party (SDP) says it made significant gains in yesterday's municipal elections in Bosnia, based on preliminary results. SDP Secretary-General Karlo Filipovic said today his party won in the northern Tuzla area and in four municipalities in Sarajevo. Many victories came at the expense of the Muslim nationalist Party of Democratic Action, which co-rules municipalities in Tuzla, Gracanica, Bihac, and other areas.

The Bosnian-Serb Democratic Party (SDS) said it won a series of victories, including in Banja Luka. However, the Independent Social Democrats of Prime Minister Milorad Dodik say they are even with the SDS in Banja Luka.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which organized the vote, is expected to begin announcing preliminary official results on 10 April.

Polls remained open an extra hour due to problems with voters' registrations.

Around 2.5 million citizens were eligible to vote, electing councils in 145 municipalities. The OSCE said it expects a high turnout, once the figures are finally tabulated. Many voters complained of administrative mix ups. Some said their names were not on official voting registers and others said they had been re-assigned to vote at different polling stations, without prior notice.