The upcoming election in Bosnia and Herzegovina represents a "referendum on the future" of the country, Presidency candidate and leader of the Party for Progress, Mirsad Hadzikadic, told N1, urging citizens to vote.
Hadzikadic, who is running for the Bosniak post in the country’s tripartite Presidency, stressed that a high voter turnout makes attempts at election fraud more difficult to pull off.
He said that “it's a little harder to steal votes now” than it was before, arguing that, in 2018, “up to 35,000 votes were stolen” in the Presidency election, adding that “those who count the votes” are usually behind these irregularities.
“There will still be theft now, but less of it. And that's why turnout is important. It is easier to steal in a turnout of 53 per cent than of 75 percent in terms of changing the results and the will of the citizens. That's why I appeal to citizens to vote,” he said.
Hadzikadic said he believes that many people choose not to vote because they believe that nothing can be changed, and that “apathy” is the biggest problem in the country. He also argued that the process for registering to vote in the BiH election from abroad is unnecessarily difficult.
Hadzikadic said the main priority of his party is to address massive emigration in BiH.
He said that people are leaving because there is “disorder”, adding “we are not all equal before the law.”
“High-level crime is almost untouchable,” he said.
Another reason he pointed out is a lack of jobs, as well as low salaries.
“And finally, we need peace. We are a divided society,” he said.
Hadzikadic also stressed that BiH does not have a national foreign policy, adding, “we have three foreign policies.”
“Our ambassadors who represent Bosnia and Herzegovina are not even representatives of a particular people, but representatives of their parties,” he said.
Hadzikadic was supposed to debate the candidates of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Denis Becirovic, and the candidate from the Party of Democratic Action (SDA), Bakir Izetbegovic.
However, Izetbegovic refused to join the debate. This prompted Becirovic to leave the studio, saying he will only return when “his only opposing candidate” Izetbegovic decides to show up.
Hadzikadic was the only candidate to remain in the studio.
He condemned the behaviour of his opponents, saying it was “completely disrespectful.”