Banja Luka, May 4, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Mladen Dragojlovic
The situation that parties from RS are opposition in this entity and part of the ruling coalition on state level, and vice versa the ruling coalition in RS is opposition on BiH level, caused so much bigotry that the security of citizens is under question mark.
A few weeks ago, when SNSD ruled the Agency for electrical energy RS decided to increase the price of power, opposition parties announced that they will organize protest to gather several thousand “unsatisfied citizens” in Banja Luka, May 14. But the ruling coalition, leaded by Alliance of independent social democrats (SNSD), announced that they will organize a counter-meeting at same day to gather their members and supporters and to show that the opposition has a smaller number of participants. This situation would be interesting for somebody who is not living in Banja Luka, but for Banja Luka citizens it means that bloody conflict is possible if two political options met on any point in the city.
“It is crazy to have two protests at the same time in Banja Luka. Every normal person will try to avoid this scenario, but not our politicians”, said one older Banja Luka citizen for IBNA.
He added that he is afraid to tell his name because the situation is very tense and that his neighbours are divided on ruling parties’ supporters, opposition supporters and those who will not participate in the protests. The “non-participants”, as he said, are in the worst position, because other two groups hate them in equal measures.
The minister of interior affairs of this BiH entity, Dragan Lukac, confirmed to the media that police received two requests for protests. The police have the right to accept or reject the request if the security estimation say that there is any kind of risk. The decision must be announced by the police in a reasonable time to give organizers time for adaptation in accordance with this document.
The fact is that high officials of political parties in RS are not even trying to calm the situation down and to find any kind of proper solution. On the press conference on Wednesday, SNSD Secretary General, Luka Petrovic, said in Banja Luka that the ruling coalition will organize a counter-meeting with the moto “Stop treachery!” suggesting that representatives of RS in BiH institutions are traitors and betray the RS interests.
“We will consider all those who participate on the opposition parties’ meeting as traitors”, Petrovic stated.
His statement, in a short period of time, caused sharp reaction of opposition parties and president of Party of Democratic Progress, Branislav Borenovic, organized a press conference on this issue.
“This statement is very dangerous and the ruling parties take all responsibility for any possible conflict. Also, this statement shows that it is time for these parties to leave the ruling position in RS”, Borenovic said.
Unofficially, there are two possible solutions the police consider in this case. First is to reject both requests and set as condition that the two meetings cannot be organized at the same day. Second is to let the ruling parties to hold the meeting in downtown and opposition parties in Mladen Stojanovic Park, two kilometers far away from downtown. In that case there will be a “tampon zone” in which police can prevent any kind of contact between two different political options.