Divided Town Braces for Local Poll Rerun

Law enforcement stepped up public security in Stolac, Herzegovina ahead of Sunday rerun of the local election, in which the town’s polarized Bosniak and Croat communities will choose mayor and members in the municipal council.

During the October 2016 nationwide local elections, the poll in Stolac was cancelled after violent incidents at several polling stations, involving local candidates backed by both Bosniaks and Croats. The Bosniak candidate for mayor and several Bosniak and Croat candidates for the municipal council, involved in physical fights that broke out at polling stations, were removed from the race.

“The number of regular voters registered in Stolac is 10,012; 1,321 will vote by mail and 31 will vote by absentee ballot. Preparations for election rerun in Stolac are nearing completion; the polling station locations are designated and remain the same as on October 2 (2016). There will be 24 polling stations. Two candidates are running for mayor of Stolac. 68 candidates from 14 political entities are running for municipal council,” said the national Central Election Commission’s Irena Hadziabdic.

A coalition of Bosniak parties and organizations said earlier that they might boycott the election since their candidate was removed from the race. The two candidates running for mayor are Croats.

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