SREBRENICA, Bosnia - Bosnian Muslims have voted down a bid to put a Serb mayor in control of Srebrenica for the first time since the massacre of 8,000 Muslims in the town by Bosnian Serb forces in 1995.
Once predominantly Muslim, Srebrenica was the site of the worst mass killing on European soil since World War Two, when Bosnian Serb forces killed Muslim men and boys near the end of the country's 1992-95 war.
Barely 15 percent of the town's 27,600 pre-war Muslim residents, known as Bosniaks, have returned, leaving Serbs the majority.
A Bosnian Serb party, which disputes a United Nations ruling that the Srebrenica killings constituted genocide, launched a bid to win the post of mayor in the local election on Oct. 7.
Many Bosniaks saw the prospect of a Serb mayor taking control as a threat to their efforts to keep the memory of the crime alive and to the status of a memorial complex where more than 5,600 victims of the massacres are interred.
Camil Durakovic, the Bosniak candidate, led the drive to register some 2,000 absent voters, and a final vote count at the weekend showed him to be the victor.