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Jasmin Mujanović @JasminMuj
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First Sunday of BiH’s 2018 elxn campaign. Some projection/analysis/questions re: the world’s most complex constitutional regime w notoriously shoddy local polling data. 1/n
Some big Qs:

- Komsic & Covic have never directly faced off. Can Komsic still muster large % of reformist Bosnian Croats (vs Covic’s Herz. base) + reformist Bosniaks to defeat HDZ’s iron grip on (shrinking) conservative/nationalist Croat electorate?
- Relatedly, who will win the reformist/anti-nationalist vote in the BiH presidency? Komsic (Croat) or Becirovic (Bosniak)? Difficult to see both winning, while dual defeat is a distinct, even likely possibility?
- Does the inanely divided Bosnian left have any credible parliamentary hopes? It seems highly questionable but even small improvement over 2014 results could make important difference.
- Has the string of SDA defections genuinely hurt the party? Dzaferovic is arguably their worst presidential candidate ever but what of their prospects in the parliament? The SDA machine remains a force, so too the HDZ & SNSD. Always the favorites in practice.
- Is this the SBB’s year to shine? Or will they be edged out by the SDP’s baby faced Bacirovic even with a dour SDA candidate? How much of an actual party is there beyond Radoncic & can they translate his prospects to the parliament also?
- Just how unpopular have Dodik & SNSD become after 12 yrs in power, tanking econ prospects & growing anti-regime protests? How overtly will they cheat/sabotage the polls? Or is their patrimonial control such that the elxns are already in the bag? An open but critical Q.
- W Dodik running for the state presidency & Cvijanovic a proven elxn loser could we see Dodik win the BiH presidency but SNSD lose the RS prez and/or even RS assembly? A split in their result seems likely, as in 2014, w Cvijanovic arguably the weakest link.
- If either/both HDZ & SNSD are convinced of/unhappy w prospects/outcomes of elxn will they resort to violence/sabotage? Gruevski style politics in BiH mean complete chaos, w major spillover effects on the whole region. Easily hijacked by malign foreign powers like RUS.
- Will there be any possibility for an actual post-elxn govt formation or are we in for a repeat of the post-2010 impasse? If it’s the latter, a strong showing by HDZ & SNSD greatly increases odds of major post-Oct political crisis.
- Re: presidency, worst case outcome: Dodik-Covic-Radoncic. Best case: Komsic-Becirovic-Ivanic. Plausible: Dodik-Covic-Becirovic. In reality, not much difference btw worst case & plausible scenario, w key Q being the situation at the legislative & at state & entity level.
- Overall, still expecting these to be deeply irregular polls, the worst since 1996, w exceedingly high chance of fraud & violence. Coherent, rapid response by EU & US in event of major shenanigans is imperative but also unlikely. Turbulence almost certainly ahead. /xxx
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