Voting in Stolac discontinued due to fight

Sunday's local elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina were proceeding mostly without problems, but an incident was reported in the southern municipality of Stolac due to which voting there was discontinued, non-governmental election monitors and members of the Central Election Commission (SIP) confirmed.

SIP chair Ahmet Santic confirmed that a candidate running in elections physically assaulted the chair of the municipal voter committee.

"Two members of the voter committee had to seek medical help," Santic said, adding that police had to intervene.

Herzegovina-Neretva Canton police confirmed the incident in Stolac, noting that a special police unit was sent to Stolac.

"The election process in Stolac has been practically terminated," Santic said, but could not say if elections would be repeated there.

The media in Sarajevo quoted anonymous Bosniak sources as saying that the incident was caused by a decision to allow persons using Croatian passports as their ID papers to vote in elections even though SIP had decided that voters could vote only if they presented an identification document issued by the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This was the reason why Salmir Kaplan, a Bosniak candidate for Stolac municipal head, physically attacked and injured the chair of the local voter committee, Ivan Peric.

SIP member Vlado Rogic said that after the incident, persons wearing masks took away some of the ballot boxes, thus violating the legality of the voting process.

Stolac is one of the problematic municipalities in the country where tensions between local Croats and Bosniaks have persisted since the end of the war in 1995.

According to SIP, the turnout by 3 pm was slightly more than 36%.

Last update: Sun, 02/10/2016 - 18:57

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