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Izetbegovič wins Bosnian elections

The OSCE supervisor of the Bosnian elections, Robert Frowick, announced on September 18 that Alija Izetbegovič of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) won both the Muslim seat on the three-man presidency and the most votes of any of the three winners from Bosnia's ethnic groups. Izetbegovič took 729,034 votes, while the Serb Momcilo Krajisnik had 690,373 and the Croat Kresimir Zubak won 342,007, Oslobodjenje reported. As to their respective challengers, Haris Silajdzic finished with 123,784 votes, Mladen Ivanic with 305,803, and Ivo Kosmic with 38,261. As the top vote-getter, Izetbegovič will be the first to hold the rotating chair of the presidency, although some legal confusion remains as to whether he will have the position for two years or for a shorter term.

Getting the three nationalist leaders to work together, however, will be no easy task. Krajisnik and his Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) are on record as wanting to destroy the Bosnian state and to unify all Serbs in a greater Serbia. Krajisnik nonetheless said on September 18 that "the fact that we sought posts in the joint institutions of Bosnia-Herzegovina shows that we are ready to work there and think that we can secure the rights of the Serb people," AFP reported, quoting SRNA. Zubak, whose party formally acknowledges the Bosnian state but openly favors union with Croatia, said he will work "for the full implementation of Dayton [peace accords]." Izetbegovic's SDA is the clearest of the three leading parties in its support for a united Bosnia-Herzegovina, but the party has a strong Islamic wing that would prefer a small "pure" state to a multi-ethnic one. In any event, Izetbegovic said: "I want to repeat my political goal. In short, it is the reunification of the country and justice in it."

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