A coalition of four Srebrenica victims’ associations, including the Mothers of Srebrenica, has filed a criminal complaint against all seven members of Bosnia’s Central Election Commission, alleging violations of electoral law during the recent municipal polls. They accuse the commission of failing to tackle what they claim was hate speech by the Serb candidate for mayor of Srebrenica, of breaking rules on updating voter lists, and of violating election law by excluding 2,000 absentee ballots from election results. They filed the complaint after Serb candidate Mladen Grujicic was officially named victor on Monday, making him Srebrenica’s first Serb mayor since the 1995 massacres of more than 7,000 Bosniak men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces. Grujicic received 4,678 votes, while Bosniak mayoral candidate Camil Durakovic got 3,910. The victims’ associations – the Mothers of Srebrenica, Women of Srebrenica, Women of Podrinje, and the Mothers of Srebrenica and Zepa – believe that the alleged violations could have affected the result in the Serb candidate’s favour.
The election commission’s decision last Sunday not to include 2,000 absentee ballots from the results after four of its seven members voted to exclude them.
It is unclear for which municipalities the 2,000 votes, postmarked by polling day on October 2 but arriving after the commission’s deadline of October 4, were intended – but groups such as Bosnia’s Diaspora Party pointed out that they could have swung the race in closely-fought seats like Srebrenica.
Commission spokeswoman Maksida Piric told local media at the time that the decision was in line with existing deadlines set by the commission.