Berserkistan Navigator Izetbegovic: Poor Elections
Will Partition Bosnia

By Jovan Kovacic

President Alija Izetbegovic SARAJEVO, June 8 (Reuters) -- Bosnia's president and the chief international mediator warned on Saturday against its partition and pinned their hopes on elections to avert what a senior NATO commander has warned may be the country's fate.

"I do not believe in the partition of Bosnia. I believe in its integration. That is why we are demanding normal conditions for the elections and oppose them being held under abnomral conditions," President Alija Izetbegovic told reporters in Sarajevo.

"The elections are not just about who will be in power as in other countries but in this case it is also about the survival of the state."

Admiral Leighton Smith, the outgoing commander of NATO troops in Bosnia, accused local politicians on Friday of lacking the will to prevent partition of Bosnia. "What we do not want to see is an ethnically divided country but unless something changes it is quite possible that is where we will end up. Actually we are there now." The Dayton accord which ended the 43-month war divided Bosnia the country into two -- a loosely bound state comprising a Serb entity and a Muslim-Croat federation.

Although local nationalist authorities on all three sides have obstructed attempts to reintegrate the country, the Bosnian Serbs have been singled out as the worst isolationists.

Carl Bildt, the international community's High Representative for Bosnia, also warned on Saturday against the looming partition of the country but argued faulty elections were better than none at all. "The whole problem of the peace process here is to gradually overcome the bitter partition," Bildt's spokesman Colum Murphy told reporters.

"He believes that were we to leave Bosnia today, militarily, politically, economically the country would hardly be able to overcome its partition and the peace up today would be no more then a phase before a restart of the conflict," he said. Murphy argued even though conditions for the elections were far from perfect any delay would widen the rift between the former foes.

One of the biggest issue is the removal of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his army commander General Ratko Mladic, both indicted war criminals who should have been handed over to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

To learn more...
Berserkistan, June 8 · Sacirbey: U.S. Applying Undue Pressure On Bosnia Over Elections
Berserkistan, June 8 · EU Donates $89 Million to Bosnia while Pressing for Elections
Berserkistan, June 7 · Human Rights Watch/Helsinki Says Bosnian Elections Can Undo Dayton
Berserkistan, June 5 · Frowick Angers OSCE Staff with Spin on Elections
Berserkistan, June 4 · Major Powers: Elections Must Stay on Schedule
Berserkistan, June 3 · Voter Registration Begins in Bosnia
Berserkistan, June 2 · Bosnias Elections Remain on Track Despite Karadzic
Berserkistan, June 2 · Bosnia: Fair Elections, but Not at Any Price

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