Rappers and reality stars among Bosnia election hopefuls

8 September 2016

Far from being the domain of career politicians, ballot papers in Bosnia’s upcoming local elections will feature the names of some less than conventional candidates, including kick boxers, rappers and reality TV stars.

Among those hoping to gain office In the 2 October elections is Dževad Poturak, a kick boxer nicknamed the “BH Machine”, who is running for the city council in Ilidža, a municipality of Sarajevo Canton in central Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“This is only one of my many battles ... nothing is easy but I have always been responsible and fair and I will continue this way, with the people for a better Ilidza!”, Mr Poturak posted on Facebook when he announced his candidacy.

Rapper Jasmin Fazlić, known by his stage name “Jala Brat” is set to run for a seat on the municipal council of Vogošća, a municipality of Sarajevo. More used to songwriting — among others, the 29-year-old co-authored Bosnia’s entry for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest — Fazlić has no political experience.

“I have spent my whole life criticising the system ... and now somebody has given me the opportunity to show what I can do,” he told the Sarajevo-based online magazine Klix, keen to emphasise that he is not “a clown in the political circus”.

Other perhaps surprising candidates for office include Tarik Mulaomerović, who gained fame after taking part in the regional talent show X Factor Adria in 2015 and will run for the City Council of Stari Grad, as well as folk singer Mirso Čomaga.

Should we be surprised?

“When somebody is successful, people tend to trust them ... it is a practice that benefits the political parties, which can have some famous names on their electoral lists, people that everybody knows,” Sarajevo-based political analyst Ivana Marić told Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, explaining the trend for “nontraditional” candidates seeking office.

Source: Balkan Inisght