ZENICA, Bosnia (Reuters) - A Bosnian man who was banned from running in next month’s local elections for using pornographic images on the Internet as part of his campaign says he will fight to be reinstated and get a chance to turn his town into “Hollywood”.
“Seven days after my campaign began, the whole planet is talking about me,” Mirad Hadziahmetovic told Reuters. “I think I have had a super campaign and proved to be the best market expert in Bosnia.”
The self-proclaimed “innovator” had been running as an independent candidate for mayor of Zenica, the fourth-largest city in Bosnia with a predominantly Muslim population, in the October 7 ballot.
The election commission removed him from the race last week over pornographic material accessible on his campaign web page.
After each question visitors to his web page posed about local election issues, they were allowed to proceed to links with pornographic content, which had to be removed after the commission’s decision.
Hadziahmetovic appealed against what he said was a “shameful decision” to Bosnia’s state court this week and voiced confidence that it would be overturned.
Unless he is re-instated as a candidate, he will file a suit to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights, he said.
In an open letter asking for support from Western ambassadors in Bosnia, Hadziahmetovic said he only wanted to turn Zenica into a Hollywood instead of a Tehran.
“I know boys and girls in my country want to make love freely, have fun and enjoy life. They all dream of Hollywood, not Tehran,” he wrote, referring to Zenica’s current mayor, who comes from a Bosnian Muslim party with post-war links to Iran.
Reporting By Miran Jelenek and Daria Sito-Sucic; editing by Zoran Radosavljevic, editing by Paul Casciato