Western officials certify results of Bosnian election

September 30, 1996|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina -- Bosnia's election, which was intended to foster unity but was stained by accusations of intimidation and fraud, was certified yesterday by the Western officials who ran it.

The certification by the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe was viewed by many as a landmark in the country's move toward stability.

The action allows for the installation of a new national government and legislature, as well as legislatures in the country's Serbian and Muslim-Croatian regions.

The results confirm that the three-member presidency will be led by a Muslim and that most legislative seats will go to members of the three dominant nationalist parties.

After validating the results, Robert Frowick, the retired U.S. diplomat who leads the European group's mission in Bosnia, conceded that the Sept. 14 elections were neither free nor democratic in the tradition of Western democracies, but he said they were acceptable considering that the country was emerging from a war.

"The elections provided the mechanism to help overcome the centrifugal forces unleashed by the war," he said.

European nations and the United States, which control the European group, are putting to the test their theory that it is better to have a government begin operating, even if it comes to power through flawed elections, than to wait until fairer elections can be held.

Pub Date: 9/30/96

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