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Dec 11, 2007 11:58 EEST
December 11 (SeeNews) - The candidate of the ruling Alliance for Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) in Bosnia’s Serb Republic, Rajko Kuzmanovic, has won the most votes on Sunday’s presidential elections, preliminary results indicated on Tuesday.
The Serb Republic is one of the two autonomous regions forming Bosnia after the end of the 1992-95 war in the Balkan country. The other is the Muslim-Croat Federation. Bosnia also has a weaker central parliament and government.
Kuzmanovic has won 41.78% of the vote calculated on the basis of 100% of the ballots cast in the polling stations across the Serb Republic and the neutral Brcko district, Bosnia’s Central Election Commission said in a statement posted on its website. The votes cast in the Federation and those cast via mail were not included in the preliminary results, but they will have a negligible effect on the final tally, an official from the Central Election Commission who wished to remain unnamed told SeeNews.
Voter turnout was 37.08%, the Central Election Commission said. Final results are expected to be released no later than December 24.
Ognjen Tadic of the nationalist Serb Democratic Party (SDS) garnered 35.18% support, and third came the former Bosnian foreign minister Mladen Ivanic of the Party for Democratic Process (PDP) with 17.10%.
The Serb Republic citizens went to the polls for the early presidential vote to elect a successor to late President Milan Jelic, who died of a heart attack some two months ago.
Approximately 1.1 million people in the Serb Republic, population 1.5 million, were eligible to vote on Sunday.
The president of the Serb Republic, whose post is largely ceremonial, is elected by a simple majority in a single round of voting. This is the first time the Serb Republic citizens elect directly their president. Previously, the president was elected by the region’s parliament.
SNSD is the most popular party in Bosnia's Serb Republic. It has been governing the region since the general election in October 2006 and has been part of the ruling coalition in Bosnia's central institutions.
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