28 Oct 2022 10:39 p.m

The candidate for president of the Republic of Srpska, the Serb-dominated part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, who is often described in the Western media as “Putin’s man,” has won the election. After a recount of the votes, his victory was confirmed.

In the past few weeks, both Milorad Dodik, candidate of the Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) party, which has been in power for years in the Republic of Srpska, and Jelena Trivić, candidate of the united opposition, saw themselves as the winners in the race for the presidency of the predominantly from the Serb-inhabited entity of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Both political camps also organized protests. Because according to the preliminary results of the Central Election Commission after the first count immediately after the election day on October 2, Dodik had around 28,000 votes more than Trivić. He received 48 percent compared to 43 percent for the opposition candidate from the Democratic Progress Party (PDP).

The opposition called for a recount and suspected election fraud because a conspicuous number of votes – around 35,000 – had been declared invalid. In turn, Dodik and his supporters sensed an attempt by the opposition, with the help of “their Western supporters,” to “take away” victory from the 63-year-old because of his pro-Russian views and often anti-Western statements. There was talk of an attempt to “impose” on the candidate who would suit the West better.

A second count has now been carried out and Dodik’s victory has been confirmed.

The social democrat, who entered the political scene in Bosnia-Herzegovina more than 15 years ago as a pro-Western politician, has meanwhile, according to his critics as well as Western analysts and journalists, become an “ultranationalist with secessionist tendencies” and “Putin’s man in the Balkans”. Domestically, the opposition, but also opponents of his policies, have accused him of the enormous spread of nepotism in recent years.

Western Balkans: US "concerns" about Russian influence, or "firefighting with gasoline"

In fact, the Republic of Srpska, like the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina, is struggling with an enormous outflow of population. While until a few years ago only young people left the country because of a lack of prospects and corruption, according to experts, entire families, even people who are about to retire, are now going to Germany or Austria. These are mainly nursing staff, nurses, doctors, truck drivers or craftsmen, who are downright courted in western countries.

For the past four years, Dodik has represented the Serbs in the three-member state presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Among other things, he spoke out against the introduction of sanctions against Russia because of its military operation in Ukraine. Dodik recently caused headlines and frowned among Western diplomats with his decision to temporarily refuse the so-called “Agrément” – the consent to accreditation – for the new German ambassador in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

more on the subject – Serb representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina refuses agrément to German ambassador

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Source: RT

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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