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Bosnia and Herzegovina – 1996 - General Elections

After four years of warfare, the three major ethnic parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina agreed upon a peace settlement during talks in Dayton, Ohio in December 1995. These Dayton Accords formed the basis of the first postwar national elections to be held in the former Yugoslav republic. The Dayton Accords called upon the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to supervise the conduct of the election. The agreement specified that a Provisional Election Commission, to be composed of both international and national members, would establish the rules and regulations that governed the election. These rules would be devised under the framework of the accords and must reflect the provisions of the agreement. The international community provided the means by which these elections were conducted. 

Under the direction of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Provisional Election Commission was established; election rules and regulations were adopted; and, both an Election Complaints and Appeals Commission and a Media Experts Commission were established to enforce the regulations. In order to assist the OSCE in building the field capacity it required to conduct the election, the International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES) provided a team of experts who occupied senior positions within the Mission including a Director General of Elections. 

Jeff Fischer served as Director General of Elections for the OSCE for the 1996 general elections. In the recording above, you can hear Jeff himself speak about his experience of observing the election for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI).

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