The biggest surprises of Bosnia’s local elections were Sarajevo and Banja Luka where the Democratic Action Party (SDA) and the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) lost their grip after decades of rule over the two cities.
In Sarajevo, the SDA lost municipalities of Centar, Novo Sarajevo and Ilidza, Stari Grad Municipality was once again won by Ibrahim Hadzibajric from the opposition bloc known as the Sarajevo Four (People and Justice – NiP, Social Democratic Party – SDP, Our Party, Independent Bosnian List – NBL).
Party Leader Bakir Izetbegovic admitted defeat saying they lost Sarajevo, but they won Bosnia. The only Municipality within Sarajevo, which they managed to hold, was Novi Grad where their candidate Semir Efendic stands to serve another four-year term.
Other major municipalities which SDA lost or stayed out of their reach are Tuzla, Zenica, Cazin and Bihac, which Izetbegovic commented on saying these major cities, as well as Banja Luka in the RS, are a sign that big municipalities and cities are demanding change.
In Velika Kladusa, a convicted war criminal Fikret Abdic is in the lead for the position of the Head of the Municipality.
The strongest Bosnian-Serb party, the SNSD, also admitted defeat in Banja Luka, the administrative centre of the Bosnian Serb entity called Republika Srpska. The party leader and Bosnian Presidency member Milorad Dodik said he was not happy at all that they lost the race after their candidate Igor Radojicic did a lot for that city – only to lose it to opposition candidate Drasko Stanivukovic.
Stanivukovic said that after 22 years, an ordinary man finally got the chance to win in Banja Luka.
The SNSD also stands to lose Prijedor, where their candidate is neck and neck with the opposition candidate from the Democratic People’s Alliance.
When it comes to the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ BiH), the strongest Bosnian-Croat Party, they reported they won in Neum, Posusje, Kresevo, Zepce and Citluk. Their sister party HDZ 1990 said their candidate won the race for Prozor Rama.
These are unofficial election results and the Central Election Commission said they will publish their first unofficial results around midnight.