The recount confirms the victory of Milorad Dodik as the new president of Republika Srpska
General elections held on October 2 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, brought victory to the Bosnian Serb politician, Milorad Dodik. With 48% and a margin of 30,000 votes, he defeated opposition nominee Jelena Trivič and became the president of the Bosnian federal entity, Republika Srpska. However, the opposition described this election result as falsified and called for a recount by the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Consequently, on October 10, 2022, the CEC ordered a complete recount of the 645 000 votes, referring in its decision to the numerous uncertainties linked to the conduct of the elections. In addition, the opposition parties, the Party of Democratic Progress, the Serb Democratic Party, and the List for Justice and Order, filed criminal complaints with the State Prosecutor’s Office on October 18, accusing Milorad Dodik and 180 other entities of committing electoral fraud. In this timeframe, the opposition even organized two protest rallies in Banja Luka, attended by thousands of people calling for an investigation into the alleged electoral fraud.
Milorad Dodik and his supporters reactively organized their protest on October 25, entitled ‚The motherland is calling,‘ which featured a strong statement from the outgoing President, Zeljko Cvijanovic, to the Central Electoral Commission, „50,000 people have gathered here [in Banja Luka], and 100,000 will come to their doors „. Dodik assured the crowd that he was not going anywhere and would soon be seated in the presidential palace.
On October 27, the results of the ballot recount were announced, confirming the victory of the leader of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, Milorad Dodik. However, the Central Election Commission itself acknowledged the existence of numerous uncertainties associated with the October elections but, on the other hand, did not give them higher credibility that could have overturned the result.
Ultimately, the process of recounting the votes led to the confirmation of the initial result. Still, to date (31.10.), the final elections figures are unknown, so the opposition still has room to question the electoral process in the country. Moreover, the realities of these elections have a negative impact beyond the borders of the country, which may be reflected in the Europeanisation process itself, especially if we take into account only the recent offer of the prospect of candidate status outlined in the annual report on Western Balkan states‘ progress towards EU membership.