SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Nationalists will stay firmly in power after Bosnia's general election, deepening the ethnic divide in the country that went through a brutal war in 1992-95, according to updated preliminary results on Monday.
Nationalist parties will dominate the Bosnian state parliament and those in the Serb mini-state and the Muslim-Croat region, showed the results of Sunday's balloting released by election authorities.
The tally of more than 80 percent of ballots counted also confirmed the pro-Russia Serb leader will win the Serb seat in the three-person Bosnian presidency, defeating a relative moderate.
But opponents of Milorad Dodik said Monday they will seek a recount of Sunday's vote over alleged "numerous discrepancies."
Mladen Ivanic, the opposition candidate for the post, said drastic differences seen in results in various areas of the Serb mini-state were "impossible."
The election outcome deals a blow to hopes of bridging Bosnia's ethnic divide after the war that killed 100,000 people.
The victory of Dodik for the presidency also means a stronger Russian influence in Bosnia as the West seeks to push the country toward EU and NATO integration.
Dodik, who advocates eventual separation of Serbs from the rest of Bosnia, said Monday that he will introduce the flag of the Serb mini-state in the Bosnian presidency.
Post-election crisis also is looming in the Muslim-Croat federation after a moderate politician Zeljko Komsic won the Croat seat in the presidency while nationalists will prevail in parliament.
Croat nationalists dispute Komsic's legitimacy as a Croat representative, arguing that he was backed overwhelmingly by Muslims. The dispute had stalled approval of key laws in the past.
The Muslim presidency seat went to the ruling party candidate Sefik Dzaferovic.