As politicians embark on their final days of campaigning for Bosnian elections on Sunday, there is one small corner of the country where they cannot pass: Podgora, a poor hamlet fed up with the government‘s broken promises.
“You’ve been lying to us for years. No party is welcome in Podgora,” reads a white banner strung across the main square of the 700-person village, which lies some 30 kilometres from the capital Sarajevo.
Sunday’s general elections will fill Bosnia’s highest political offices, from a three-person presidency down to district assemblies.
But few are expecting significant change in a nation that has been paralysed for decades, in part because of unresolved conflicts dating back to the ethnic conflicts that engulfed Bosnia in the 1990s.
Like huge swathes of the population, the people of Podgora are disillusioned by a political class known chiefly for corruption and dysfunction. “Enough lies!” Adi Silajdzic, 47, told AFP when asked why he supported the village’s politician blockade.
“We’re fed up that every time they come they tell us stories and make promises to ensure votes.””And every time, on the day after the elections, it is as if nothing had happened, as if they did not even come to see us,” said the unemployed father.