Elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Revolution, Evolution or Stagnation?

On 12 October 2014 some 3.2 million Bosnians eligible to vote cast their ballots at the General Elections for their representatives at the state, entity and, in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), the cantonal level legislatures. Voters also elected the three members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the President and Vice-presidents of Republika Srpska (RS). A total of 69 political parties competed for legislative assembly seats, while 16 parties nominated their candidates for all levels. In addition to political parties, a number of independent candidates ran for different levels. Significant presence of independent candidates is not a novel occurrence. At the local elections in 2012, a number of mayoral posts went to independent candidates. This trend is certainly a reflection of the public’s deep mistrust of the established political parties, as the recently published study (Analitika) shows that only 14.3% of citizens trust political parties. If we add to this years of economic downturn, a protracted government formation negotiations in 2010, which took some 14 months, and the fact that the previously existing ideological progressive-conservative division simply ceased to exist or make sense, dissatisfaction becomes easier to grasp.

Adnan Huskić

Adnan Huskić

Adnan Huskić is a PhD candidate at the University of Graz. He is the country representative of the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit in Bosnia and is lecturer at the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology. He frequently comments and analyses events in the region for domestic and international media. His most recent academic works includes co-authoring the book for Palgrave Macmillan "The Foreign Policies of Post-Yugoslav States" and the forthcoming article for the Special Issue of Journal of Intervention and State-building on the state-nation problem.


Southeastern Europe