SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) – Bosnians voted Sunday in nationwide municipal elections amid concerns that the turnout will be hurt by a major surge in coronavirus infections and deaths.
Some 3 million people were eligible to vote in the small Balkan nation, which has been uneasily split between its three main ethnic groups – Serbs, Croats and Bosnian Muslims – since the end of the 1992-95 war. Voters were choosing mayors and municipal councils in both of the country’s two semi-autonomous regions – the Serb-run Republika Srpska and the Bosnian Muslim-Croat Federation.
Although the elections are local, many believe they will pave the way for new overall leadership of the ethically split country due to public dissatisfaction with how nationalist and right-wing parties at all levels of government have dealt with the coronavirus pandemic.
Social distancing rules remain, wearing face masks is compulsory in public and voters were instructed to wash their hands and had their temperature taken before voting.