Social Democrats dissolve Srebrenica branch over election fraud allegations

Source: SDP BiH

The leadership of Bosnia's Social Democratic Party (SDP) decided to dissolve the party's municipal organization in East-Bosnian town of Srebrenica and to expel the head of the local organisation, Bego Bektic, from the party over election fraud allegations, the party said Tuesday.

The decision was made based on information that Bego Bektic allegedly participated in frauds in the election process in Srebrenica, which irreversibly damaged the reputation of the SDP in Srebrenica, the party said.

“Bearing in mind the fact that the SDP BiH is one of the bearers of activities aimed at protecting the integrity of the election process, that the head of the SDP BiH Srebrenica Bego Bektic grossly violated the Statute of the SDP BiH, violated the decisions of the SDP BiH, that he is suspected of violating and abusing the election process, which inflicted inconceivable political damage to the SDP BiH, and that the implementation of a special disciplinary procedure would only further inflict political damage to the SDP BiH and to everything we advocate and fight for, the SDP BiH Leadership adopted a decision to dissolve the SDP BiH municipal organization in Srebrenica. and all its bodies, and to exclude Bego Bektic from the party membership,“ SDP BiH wrote in their statement.

The party urged the Central Election Commission to annul and re-call the elections for the mayor of Srebrenica if Mladen Grujicic turns out to be elected through ways of election fraud.

Bosnia held its local elections on November 15. Apart from some changes in major cities such as Sarajevo and Banja Luka, many expected a fierce battle in Srebrenica where all Serb and pro-Bosnian parties united behind each of their candidates, urging voters to exit the polls. Incumbent mayor Mladen Grujicic beat the pro-Bosnian candidate Alija Tabakovic, winning over 58 percent of the vote.

Moments before the SDP BiH statement, Grujicic also commented on the situation and the fact that Bosnia's Special police searched several facilities in Srebrenica and Tuzla and apprehended three individuals.

The mayor of Srebrenica said that the search is yet another “deceit arranged by Bosniak representatives.”

“It's a continued pressure on all Bosniaks in Srebrenica who are ready for cooperation, reconciliation and coexistence,” he said.

The State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) apprehended three individuals suspected of “association for the purpose of committing criminal offences” in connection with crimes of document forging, illegal use of personal information and the violation of the right to vote, the Agency said, adding that they conducted the said operation in cooperation with Republika Srpska entity Interior Ministry and Tuzla Canton Police.

The Agency noted they searched six locations where they found and seized several cell phones, notebooks, copies of electoral rolls, a pistol and other items, which can serve as evidence.