SARAJEVO, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA (AP) – Polls opened yesterday in Bosnia for a general election that is unlikely to bring any substantial change despite palpable disappointment in the small, ethnically divided Balkan country with the long-established cast of sectarian political leaders.
The election includes races for various levels of government that are part of one of the world’s most complicated institutional set-ups agreed upon in a United States-(US) sponsored peace agreement, which ended more than three-and-a-half years of bloodshed in the 1990s between Bosnia’s three main ethnic groups.
The peace agreement divided the country into two highly independent governing entities – one run by Serbs and the other shared by Bosniaks and Croats. The two have broad autonomy but are linked by shared, national institutions. All countrywide actions require consensus from all three ethnic groups.
Yesterday, voters are choosing the three members of the shared Bosnian presidency – Parliamentary deputies at the state, entity and regional levels; and the president of the country’s Serb-run part.