People in Bosnia’s Serb Republic, or Republika Srpska, have been voting in an early election for a new president. The sudden death of Milan Jelic in September left the mainly ceremonial post open and Rajko Kuzmanovic is favourite to fill it. The 76-year-old enjoys the support of the most powerful man in the Serb mini-state, Prime Minister Milorad Dodik, the head of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats. He has three main rivals among the ten candidates running.
Bosnia’s ex-foreign minister, Mladen Ivanic, of the Party of Democratic Progress, is perhaps the strongest. While the youngest man on the list, Ognjen Tadic of the nationalist Serb Democratic Party, is expected to run them close. Postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina is made up of the Serb Republic and the Muslim-Croat federation, the two autonomous regions created under the Dayton peace accords.
The region’s president is elected after one round of voting with a simple majority of votes deciding the winner – and this is the first time the president will be elected directly and not by the parliament.