One of the most common methods of abusing the Election Law and devaluing the electoral process itself is, in addition to a large number of political entities, many of which do not win a single vote, abuse related to electoral committees of fictitious political entities and the City Election Commission.
Article 2.1. of the BiH Election Law clearly states: “Election commissions and polling committees are independent and impartial in their work. A member of the electoral commission or electoral committee will not participate in making a decision when that member or a member of his immediate family has a personal or financial interest, or if there is another conflict of interest, which may cast doubt on his ability to act impartially“, however in certain cities and municipalities the members of the election commission and polling committees are not only biased, but also members of the party.
Activists and officials of SNSD Trebinje are abusing the election process
In the certified Decision on the appointment of Electoral Committees in Trebinje, we found a large number of abuses, where prominent SNSD activists, officials and former candidates of this party for councillors in the City Assembly were assigned to the electoral committees, so-called “phantom” political entities, along with large numbers in the City Election Commission of Trebinje.
But let’s start in order. The list is compiled in order of polling stations.
Bojan Čvoro – deputy member (GIK), a former member of PDP, transferred to SNSD, of which he is still a member/activist, former head of the Department for Housing and Communal Affairs.
Stevan Bekan – president (independent candidate Dalibor Ivanović) SNSD staff, director of public company “Ekologija i bezbjednost” (“Ecology and Safety”). It is interesting that at the same polling station the deputy member of the Election Committee (independent candidate Miroslav Ilić) is an employee of the company “Ekologija i bezbjednost”, whose director is the aforementioned Bekan.
Vesna Zurovac – Deputy President of the Electoral Committee (independent candidate Dalibor Ivanović). In the 2020 local elections, she was an SNSD candidate for councillor in the Trebinje City Assembly.
Milojka Setenčić – president of the Election Committee (GIK), also a candidate on the SNSD list for councillor in the 2020 local elections.
Gradimir Ćirić – president (Left wing), SNSD cadre, was in GIK Trebinje in the previous local elections.
Borko Ćorluka – member (GIK), SNSD staff and director of RUGIPP – Trebinje business unit.
Aleksandar Koprivica – president (Republican Party of Srpska). In the local elections in 2020, was a candidate for councillor on the SNSD list, former director of the Center for Social Work in Trebinje.
Mišo Pešić – deputy member (independent candidate Igor Gašević). SNSD staff, director of the Trebinje Secondary School.
Pavle Telebak – member (Alliance for a Democratic Serbia), SNSD activist, president of Ložiona Municipal Council.
Vesna Đurić – member (independent candidate Ana Dobrilović). Candidate for councillor in the local elections in 2016, on the SNSD list, prominent MSD youth activist.
Jelica Manigoda – deputy member (Left wing), SNSD activist. It is interesting that her son Boban Manigoda is also in the electoral committee, but not in front of the subject Left Wing like his mother, but as president of the electoral committee in front of the independent candidate Miroslav Ilic.
Manojlo Ćuk – president (GIK). A long-time member of the Socialist Party, an independent councillor in 2011, shortly after that he moved to the SNSD, where he is still a staff member, and director of the Public Institution “Centar za informisanje i kulturu” (Center for Information and Culture).
Miro Gredo – member (GIK). SNSD staff, former head of the Finance Department.
Dragan Popović – member (SMS Youth Forces Alliance). SNSD staff, director of the Trebinje Employment Office.
Dražana Ivanović – President (Alliance for a Democratic Serbia). In the 2020 local elections, she was a candidate on the list of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) for councillor in the Trebinje City Assembly.
Nenad Milićević – president (Left wing). SNSD cadre, former head of the Department for General Affairs in the City Administration of Trebinje.
Veselin Dutina – member (independent candidate Smiljanić Milan). Former SDS youth president, he became close to the ruling SNSD, and for his loyalty, he was awarded the position of director of the Agrarian Fund of Trebinje.
Part of the Decision on the appointment of BO in Trebinje
It is also interesting that the current mayor of Trebinje, Mirko Ćurić, before becoming mayor as an SNSD candidate, was the president of the City Election Commission in Trebinje, and in the past, there are numerous similar examples, such as Maja Kolak, who in the previous local elections the duty of a member of GIK, and in 2016 she was an SNSD candidate for councillor. Maja Kolak is also a member of GIK for these elections.
We emphasize that we only published the names of prominent activists, candidates for councillors and directors and that the number of party activists in the committees is much higher, and 27 committees out of a total of 47 in Trebinje are under the absolute control of the SNSD.
Therefore, in a large number of polling stations, there is not a single representative of the opposition party among the members of the Electoral Committees, which opens up a huge possibility of election theft. We should also note that part of the opposition (SDS and PDP to be exact), according to our knowledge, have four fictitious political entities, and these are the following entities: SNS FBiH, Peasant Party, Fatherland Party and the Democratic Center of the RS.
Doboj – new election thefts?
“And this time, the regime parties, both in Doboj and throughout Srpska and FBiH, invented over 80% of the parties on the scene in order to occupy the electoral committees and steal the will of the citizens, as they did in Doboj in 2020”, claim the members of the Movement of Free Citizens of Doboj in a statement sent to our portal, in which they call on all people to go to the polls en masse and stand up for democracy and oppose electoral theft and falsification of citizens’ electoral will.
From Doboj, there is a particularly interesting example of the Starčević family, SNSD activists who are distributed in as many as four different political entities.
BO in Doboj
However, there are more examples of SNSD activists as members and deputies of election committees, we will mention only a few of them: Tijana Vasiljević Stokić, Zorica Miljanović, Jelena Savić, Alen Popović, Violeta Radišković, Nenad Ostojić, Milan Peulić, Dijana Drljić, Mira Kovačević, Isidora Radja, Marko Jorgić, Tanja Narić, and others.
“According to my information, their seats in the Election Committees were sold or donated to the SNSD by the Selakovi Socijalisti, and these claims are proven by verified SNSD activists in the positions of members and presidents of the election committees. We are all witnesses to this and it does not take a lot of intelligence to understand that this is a trade in electoral committees”, warns Miroslav Borojević-Beli, a member of the Movement of Free Citizens, in a statement to SPIN Info. The PSG were the first to point out election fraud in Doboj in 2020, where 200 people are currently accused of election theft.
Miroslav Borojević- Beli, source: MH
Where does the money for applications to participate in the elections come from?
In the upcoming elections, there are 31 candidates in the race for president/vice president of RS, of which 17 are independent candidates, who can be said in advance to have only a few votes. Among these candidates, there is also a large number of fictitious political subjects. We will cite just one example, SPIN Info obtained information that one of the candidates for president is Miroslav Ilić, the chauffeur of Željko Radić from Doboj, who serves as the acting director of Željeznica RS, and is a long-time member and activist of the SNSD, a member of the main board of this party and PO SNSD coordinator for Ozren.
If it is necessary to attach 5,000 signatures and pay 9,000 KM for the application of an independent candidate for president/vice president of Republika Srpska, and the CEC returns the money paid only to those who were elected in the elections, the question is where the candidates who win only a few votes in the elections get the money for the application, but also signatures.
CEC does not check candidates and does not act on applications?
We received a partial answer to the question of where such political subjects got the signatures for application from the Central Election Commission, from where they confirmed for SPIN Info that by checking the state of the Central Voter List with the date of the announcement of the General Elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the year 2022 and signatures of support for political subjects, a total of 535 deceased persons names were found in the entered support signatures and that of various political subjects.
We also received an answer from the Central Election Commission to a question related to the phenomenon of trading in election committees.
“Trading seats in electoral committees is a phenomenon that is talked about a lot, but as we said – we have so far no reports on the basis of which we would check these rumours, and if we had – we would forward them all to the competent prosecutor’s offices. But we must emphasize that, if this phenomenon of trading exists, we believe that the amendments to the Election Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina imposed by the High Representative, which prohibit false representation, will greatly reduce the possibility of trading seats in electoral committees”, the CEC states, calling all participants in the election process to, in accordance with the Election Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina, report to the competent local election commission information about possible violations of the election process and rules or laws.
However, Damjan Ožegović – senior researcher of Transparency International BiH claims the opposite.
“We have sent several applications for abuses of electoral commissions recently, but they have not yet been decided upon.” – Damjan Ožegović told SPIN INFO.
The Central Election Commission also denied the “Pod lupom” (“Under Scrutiny”) coalition.
“Of particular concern are the cases of trading seats in electoral committees. 20 cases of trading seats in electoral committees in 18 different municipalities and cities were reported. So far, four cases have been reported to the CEC of BiH, and the CEC of BiH should soon make a decision on the reports for the first time for this type of irregularity, which has now finally been treated by the latest amendments to the Election Law of BiH.” – representatives of the “Under Scrutiny” coalition pointed out as a pressing problem in a statement to the media.
Trade in electoral committees is unfortunately a frequent phenomenon in our society, and probably one of the weakest links in ensuring fair and honest elections.
“However, lately we have witnessed certain reactions from the judicial community, primarily in Doboj, Brčko and so on. A key solution to suppressing this phenomenon is hidden precisely in a larger, more timely and more serious punishment policy. If a clearer message of punishment had been sent earlier, such occurrences would probably have been reduced to a minimum. Also, the professionalization of electoral committees – or at least part of electoral committees in the form of the positions of president and vice-president of the BO, would significantly contribute to the suppression, and this would be about competitive procedures for the selection of professionals for these positions. It is also important to note that the most important resource for detecting such occurrences is information from the inside, that is, from the spot, and in this sense, any mention of potential trading of seats in electoral committees must be addressed in a timely manner to the competent institutions or organizations that monitor the electoral process.” – Ožegović concluded for SPIN INFO.
The question arises, is it even possible to hold fair elections in these circumstances, when the rulers have incomparably more members and presidents of electoral committees, when trades with electoral committees and the existence of “phantom” parties and candidates are confirmed?
The SPIN INFO portal at the very end of this text invites the authorities to investigate, as stated in this text, the lists of members and presidents of the Electoral Committees in other cities as well, because according to our knowledge, there are many more such cases in both entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina.