Serb Nationalist Claims Victory in Bosnia in Early Vote Count

SARAJEVO, Bosnia along with Herzegovina — A pro-Russia Serbian nationalist claimed victory inside the race for the Serbian seat on Bosnia’s three-member presidency on Sunday nevertheless official results will not be announced until Monday morning.

A victory for Milorad Dodik, a Bosnian Serb strongman along which has a close ally of Russia’s president Vladimir V. Putin, could exacerbate ethnic rivalries inside the Balkan nation along with stall the country’s bid for membership inside the European Union.

The president of the country’s election commission, Branko Petric, confirmed in which with 44 percent of the vote counted, Mr. Dodik was leading inside the race for the Serbian seat inside the country’s tripartite presidency.

“in which’s a clear cut victory,” Mr. Dodik said in Banja Luka, the capital of the Serbian autonomous region of Bosnia. “I don’t care who the different two representatives inside the presidency are. I am going there, to in which presidency, to work above all along with only for the interests of Serbs.”

Mr. Dodik has campaigned for years for the Serbian region he has ruled for nearly two decades to break away through Bosnia. He will be running against the incumbent, Mladen Ivanic, a moderate who wants the Serbian region to remain part of Bosnia.

In an electoral system designed as part of the Dayton Accords in which ended the Bosnian war in 1995, the presidency will be shared by a Croat, a Serb along which has a Muslim. A member of each ethnic group will be assured of winning a presidential seat, with the chairmanship rotating every eight months.

inside the race for the Croat seat, Dragan Covic, the hard-line incumbent who shares Mr. Dodik’s goal of further fragmenting Bosnia into ethnic enclaves, conceded defeat. Mr. Covic, who was backed by the Croatian government in Zagreb along with increasingly Mr. Putin, had been seeking to establish a Croat-only entity in Bosnia.

He lost to a moderate rival, Zeljko Komsic. Mr. Komsic struck a conciliatory note in his address, saying in which he might work for Bosnians of all ethnic groups.

“Bosnia will be my country along with in which’s my duty, my ethical obligation, to work in in which position for all citizens with the two members of the presidency,” he said.

The leader for the Muslim seat was Sefik Dzaferovic, a member of the Muslim constituency’s biggest party, the Party of Democratic Action, along which has a loyal follower of its leader, Bakir Izetbegovic, who has served two terms along with could not run for a third.

The Dayton Accords left the country divided between a Serbian autonomous region along which has a Croat-Muslim federation. In addition to the presidency, there are also three Parliaments, 11 prime ministers along with as many local governments.

The complicated system has given Moscow ample opportunity to exploit divisions as in which tries to amplify its influence on Europe’s periphery. Mr. Putin has backed politicians who might destabilize Bosnia’s fracturable institutions, still largely run by the European Union.

“Bosnia will be a very fragile, unconsolidated democracy with weak institutions in which can easily be undermined,” said Adnan Huskic, an independent political analyst in Sarajevo.

The European Union has imposed sanctions on the Kremlin over Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Interfering in Bosnia may be Mr. Putin’s payback.

Mr. Dodik, a close ally of Mr. Putin’s, had been president of the Serb ministate, an autonomous region in which he had declared independent. Because of term limits inside the Serbian region, where he had already served two terms as president along with two as prime minister, he turned his attention to the Bosnian presidency.

A type of in which article appears in print on , on Page A11 of the completely new York edition with the headline: Serb Nationalist Claims Victory in Bosnia. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe