Last week, I posted about the preparations for elections for the Minorities National Councils (MNC) in Serbia. These elections have now taken place, and around 54% (some 240,000) of those registered to vote took part; with the Greek minority registering the highest turnout (77%); the Ashkali the lowest (39%). Elections for the inaugural Albanian Minority National Council - which were boycotted by six of the eight ethnic Albanian parties - saw Riza Halimi's Party for Democratic Action came in first with 24 of the 29 seats (or 12,212 votes). In elections to the Bosniak Council, a list led by Mufti Muamer Zukorlić came first with 17 seats (26,216 votes), raising fears that the Council will exploited by the religious community. Further controversy surrounded elections to the Hungarian Council (won by the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians with 58,900 votes or 28 seats), with the Alliance's leader, Istvan Pasztor, accusing the Democratic Party (Serbia's largest party) of "wanting to have full control over the future National Council of Hungarians".
Ian Bancroft is the co-founder of TransConflict, an organization undertaking conflict and post-conflict transformation projects and research throughout the Western Balkans. Ian is also a columnist for The Guardian on Western Balkans affairs, with a specific focus on Kosovo, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.Read more from Ian Bancroft