Bosnian Leader Accuses US of Election Meddling.
Milorad Dodik, president of Bosnia’s autonomous Serb Republicans accused the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) of election interference in an attempt to counter Russian influences in the region. Saying,
“Aiming to directly interfere in internal affairs of the Republika Srpska and Bosnia, USAID … tries to avoid all institutions and to grant funds under cover of the alleged fight against crime and corruption.”
Mr. Dodik is an outspoken supporter of closer ties to Russia, and claiming that if elected, those within government conspiring with USAID and NGO’s accepting funding, would be investigated.
The U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo calls the charges a “wild” conspiracy theory and making the following statement,
“Once again, the assistance of the people of the United States is being used to support wild conspiracy theories in the interest of election campaigning in Bosnia.”
The embassy continued by saying they were still in negotiations with the Bosnian central government for aid worth $8 million to fight against graft.
While Dodik’s accusations may or may not be unfounded, the US through USAID has been actively acting in the affairs of nations in the region for years. USAID as an organization has worked closely with the Open Society Foundation to “promote democracy.” It is the open distrust of the OSF, USAID and the many times they have used their monetary influence to sway poorer governments, that has given rise to Dodik’s claims.
Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic also dismissed Dodik’s allegations, stating that,
“the programs accepted by the Council of Ministers were only at an initial stage and could not influence the election process.”
This is not the first incidence of Dodik making allegations of election meddling. Last month Britain was similarly accused when Dodik claimed that the nation had sent “intelligence specialists” to influence the upcoming election.
What happens next, and what impact Dodik’s many accusations have will be seen on October 7 of this year when the general elections occur.