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Bosnia calls Oct 2 election despite rows over electoral reform, funding

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By Reuters

SARAJEVO – Bosnia will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on Oct. 2, the electoral commission said on Wednesday, although rival ethnic leaders have failed to agree on electoral reforms and the government has still not secured funding for the vote.

Voters will elect Croat, Serb and Bosniak members of the tripartite presidency and lawmakers for parliament’s lower house, plus regional leaders and assemblies, the Central Election Commission (CIK) said.

If the elections go ahead it will be the second time voting has been conducted according to electoral rules that do not include changes sought by Croat nationalists looking to bolster their representation in national institutions.

By law, the funding needed to hold the elections must now be secured within two weeks, the commission said.

But Bosnia’s central government – the Council of Ministers – has still not adopted the 2022 budget in which the electoral funding is meant to be earmarked, which the electoral commission said was an illegal obstruction to the process.

Bosnia is going through its worst political crisis since the end of the 1990s war, with Bosnian Serbs challenging state institutions as part of their longtime bid to secede and Croats warning about political consequences if the voting is held under the current election law.