Berserkistan Navigator Bosnian Serbs’ SDS Party
Will be Certified for
Bosnian Election

‘I think today we will be in a position to indicate that all parties (including SDS) can go forward in the election process’
—Robert Frowick, U.S. Diplomat heading OSCE's Bosnia Office

By Mark Heinrich

robert Frowick SARAJEVO, July 19 (Reuters) - International organisers of Bosnia's post-war elections said on Friday the separatist Serb Democratic Party would be able to run after SDS leader Radovan Karadzic, an indicted war criminal, quit all public offices.

Karadzic's forced resignation after hardnosed diplomacy by Richard Holbrooke, U.S. architect of the 1995 Dayton peace treaty, was welcomed by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which is staging the election.

Robert Frowick, a U.S. diplomat heading OSCE's Bosnia office, said Karadzic's written pledge not to engage in any public activities again meant the SDS would be certified to run in the campaign, which was to officially begin on Friday. But he cautioned Karadzic had to prove in coming days he would abide by his commitment. Any backsliding would jeopardise the SDS' certification for the landmark September 14 vote.

Bosnia's Election"I think today we will be in a position to indicate that all parties (including SDS) can go forward in the election process," Frowick told a news conference in Sarajevo. "Today the peace process in Bosnia has taken a potentially major step forward. Dr Karadzic (needed to) resign for the sake of his own people...I think the situation has been clarified but we must await events (to be sure) since there have been so many agreements not properly implemented in this country."

The international community cannot be sure beyond a doubt that Karadzic is definitively sidelined from politics as long as he has a telephone and is not jailed. But he is already largely confined to his heavily guarded headquarters in Pale to avoid NATO patrols in the area. NATO is authorised to arrest Karadzic and his army commander General Ratko Mladic if it spots them, but not to hunt them down.

Michael Steiner, deputy to Carl Bildt, the international High Representative in Bosnia who lobbied the Bosnian Serbs for months to have Karadzic bow out, deflected suggestions that Holbrooke bailed out Bildt. "Bildt believes (Holbrooke's agreement) sums up previous efforts. The lesson today is that we have to stick to our goals and not get nervous (at Serb defiance)," Steiner said.

Steiner conceded that even without Karadzic, deputies just as ultra-nationalist as him would keep running the SDS on a platform of total independence for the Serb entity. "Nobody at this table has any illusions that we don't still have a long way to go (to reunify Bosnia)," he said. "More will have to be done. But it has to come in steps. We will not in one day (achieve) paradise in Bosnia."

To learn more...
Berserkistan, July 19 · Karadzic Resigns, but Holbrooke Fails to Secure Serb’s Arrest
Berserkistan, July 19 · Karadzic Ouster is Partial Victory for Holbrooke
Berserkistan, July 19 · NATO and IFOR Partners Welcome Karadzic Resignation


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