Bosniak local election candidates in the eastern town of Srebrenica have accused authorities in Bosnia’s Serb-majority entity of electoral engineering ahead of the November 15 election, arguing that people from neighbouring Serbia are registering to vote in the town so that the current mayor, Mladen Grujicic, is reelected.
According to members of the ‘My address is Srebrenica’ initiative, numerous cars with Serbian licence plates can be seen in Srebrenica these days, belonging to people who came from the neighbouring country only recently to register for voting in Bosnia.
"We also have official vehicles from Serbia that bring people over, and institutions in Srebrenica are willing to register a person within one day,” said former Srebrenica mayor, Camil Durakovic.
“And the police work until 8-9 in the evening, so that those coming can get an ID card and participate in the elections,” he explained.
The goal of the alleged engineering is for the current mayor, Mladen Grujicic, to remain serving the post.
The ruling party in Republika Srpska, the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), denied the allegations, arguing that it takes at least 20 days for the documentation necessary for voting to be acquired according to the law.
“Everything is being done according to the law. There is no pressure coming from Serbia, it’s people who have property here who are coming. There is no engineering going on,” said Radomir Pavlovic, the leader of the local branch of the SNSD in Srebrenica.
He, in turn, accused Bosniaks of electoral engineering, arguing that 296 Bosniaks came to Srebrenica from the other semi-autonomous entity, the Federation (FBiH), in September and registered for voting.
According to data from the Ministry of Civil Affairs, 1,112 people have been registered as Bosnian citizens within 2020, and 429 of them were born in Serbia.