Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik eyes victory in national elections

Bosnian Serb political leader Milorad Dodik appeared to be on course for a crucial election victory in the fragile Balkan country, according to early results.

This was after a chaotic night in which his rival claimed victory. Sunday's multiple elections produced results that could deepen instability in the small, poor country divided along ethnic lines.

Jelena Trivic, 39, was the first to declare victory in the race to become the President of Republika Srspka, the fractured country's Serbian entity, after promising to root out corruption while playing a heightened nationalist tune.

The 63-year-old Dodik, a great admirer of Russian President Vladimir Putin, immediately contradicted her claimed electoral victory and accused her of not being "serious".

The Electoral Commission announced that he had won 49% of the vote against 42% for Trivic, after the votes were counted in 82% of polling stations in the Republika Srspka