General elections start in Bosnia

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SARAJEVO, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- Almost 3.4 million registered voters in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) will cast votes on Sunday and elect among 518 candidates running for the Presidency of BiH, and the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH.

The voters will also get to elect among candidates running for the country's 12 parliaments on lower government levels.

All of the election posts, including 21 posts set up abroad by BiH's embassies, are open since early morning with some sporadic delays of less than half an hour, said the Central Election Commission on Sunday.

"We will give our best to present the preliminary results by midnight today, and 80 percent of the final count will be announced in the early morning on Monday," said Suad Arnautovic, president of the Central Election Commission of BiH.

All adult citizens of BiH are entitled to elect three members of the Presidency of BiH, and 42 members of the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH, to run the state level government in the next four-year term.

Voters will also elect 181 members of the parliaments of the country's two entities, the Federation of BiH (98 seats) and the Republika Srpska (83 seats).

The President, and the two Vice Presidents of the entity Republika Srpska, will also be elected on Sunday, while officials of the same office in the Federation of BiH are not elected directly by the citizens. Instead, they will be elected by the new members of this entity's parliament.

The entity of Federation of BiH consists of ten cantons, and every canton has its own assembly, totaling 289 seats. The voters of the Federation will get to vote only for candidates in their own canton.

A record number of 7,258 candidates, including 17 independent candidates, from 72 political parties and 38 coalitions,are running for public office in this year's general elections in BiH.

These are the eighth general elections since 1996, as BiH got its Constitution as a part of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in BiH, also known as the Dayton peace agreement, which put an end to the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia. Enditem

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