Bosnia protesters demand snap elections after unprecedented street violence

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Bosnia protesters demand snap elections after unprecedented street violence

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Protesters in Bosnia are calling for early elections.

They have been backed up by two parties of the country’s ruling coalition in the hope that a snap poll may defuse mounting anger over corruption and unemployment.

On Sunday around 1,000 people gathered in front of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency building in Sarajevo, demanding the resignation of the government.

Meanwhile Croatia’s prime minister has blamed the recent violence on the European Union. Zoran Milanovic said it would not have happened if the EU, of which Croatia is now a member, had had a more coherent and clearer policy on Bosnia.

At least 44 people have been arrested during three days of rioting. Their supporters have accused the police of mistreating them and have demanded their release.

Although hundreds turned out again on Sunday, this time the demonstrations were largely peaceful and by the evening those arrested had been let go.

Bosnia-Hercegovina is made up of a Bosniak-Croat Federation of Bosnia and Hercegovina, and the Bosnian Serb Republic, or Republika Srpska.

Each has its own president, government, parliament, police and other bodies, but the complex administrative framework and deep divisions have led to political stagnation and suspected corruption.