Government, Political Parties
Bosnian Serbs, Greater Serbia, nationalist parties, Sloga, fair election
In every relatively free and fair election in Bosnia in the 20th century, starting in 1910, the population has voted along ethnic lines. In 1945 Yugoslavia emerged from World War II controlled by the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (name changed to the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, or LCY, in 1952). The Communists, whose power extended throughout Yugoslav government and society, were practically the only party in the country until 1990. The LCY chapters in each of the republics officially disbanded in 1990, some taking other names. In Bosnia, nationalist parties for each of the three largest ethnic groups formed that year. Since then the most important Muslim party has been the Party of Democratic Action (PDA). In 1998 the PDA became the dominant party in a Muslim coalition, the Coalition for a Whole and Democratic Bosnia and Herzegovina. The most important Croat party is the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CDU-BH), a branch of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union in Croatia. The CDU-BH answers to Croatian party leaders.
For Bosnian Serbs, more than one party has significant backing. The overwhelming winner in the elections in 1990 and 1996 was the Serbian Democratic Party. This nationalist party advocated either that Bosnia remain in Yugoslavia (when it still could) or that lands inhabited by Serbs in an independent Bosnia be united with Serbia. While this party was still the largest Serb party in 1998, Sloga (Accord), a coalition of other Serb parties less opposed to Bosnia’s ethnic reintegration, was also created. The coalition received backing from Western Europe and the United States for pledging to support the Dayton peace accord. The third major Serb party was the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party, which staunchly advocated a “Greater Serbia.” The Serbian Radical Party is a branch of the same party in Serbia and is controlled from there.
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