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Swiss observers monitoring Bosnian vote

Voting in Sarajevo in the fourth elections since the end of the Bosnian war


Swiss election experts are among 760 foreign observers, who have been monitoring parliamentary elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Voters from both the Muslim-Croat federation and the Serb republic cast their ballots on Saturday.

The 10 Swiss experts are part of a contingent of observers appointed by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to ensure the ballot passes off smoothly.

A total of 2.5 million voters were expected to cast their ballots for candidates representing 44 parties, as well as several independents.

This is the last election in Bosnia that will be monitored and financed by the OSCE. The election is expected to cost around SFr15 million ($8.5 million).

The Social Democratic party - the successor to the Communists - is the favourite to win a majority in the Muslim-Croat federation, while the Party of Democratic Progress is expected to emerge triumphant in the Serb Republic.

The Helsinki committee for human rights in Bosnia has described the election campaign - particularly in the Muslim-Croat federation - as the "dirtiest" in the past five years.

These are the fourth elections since the Bosnian war ended in 1995.

swissinfo with agencies

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