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Nationalists Lead in Bosnia's Local Elections - 2004-10-03

Electoral officials in Bosnia-Herzegovina say initial results from Saturday's municipal elections indicate a strong showing for Croat, Muslim and Serb nationalists.

Officials say that results from about one third of the municipalities (46 of 142) show the three powerful nationalist parties - the Muslim Party of Democratic Action, the Croat Democratic Union and the Serb Democratic Party - appear to be winning.

But the moderate Union of Independent Social Democrats appears to have gained ground in a number of city elections against the Serb Democratic Party, which was founded by fugitive war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic.

Voter turnout was just 45 percent of the country's 2.3 million eligible voters, a record low. Turnout four years ago was 20 percentage points higher.

Preliminary results from all municipalities are expected later Sunday.

(afp, ap, reuters, prev) ##