Banja Luka, November 27, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Mladen Dragojlovic
The BiH Constitutional Court confirmed at the session on Thursday evening the appeal of the member of BiH Presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, and declared January 9, which was celebrated as the Day of Republic of Srpska as an unconstitutional holiday.
The RS celebrates this day as the day when first Assembly of Serb nation in BiH was established and, in fact, begun the history of this entity in BiH. On the other side, Bosniaks in BiH consider this day as the day of final separation of nations in BiH and de facto beginning of the bloody war. After the war ended, the Bosniaks several times tried to point out that this nation and the Croats don’t consider January 9 to be a relevant holiday for all constitutional nations which live on RS territory, but rather as the day of the national division in BiH.
“The BiH Constitutional Court has ruled that Article 3b) of this Law is not in accordance with the BiH Constitution regarding the international convention on abolition of all forms of racial discrimination and the Protocol 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The BiH Constitutional Court has ordered the RS Parliament to harmonise Article 3b) of the Law on Holidays with the BiH Constitution within six months after the receipt of this decision and to inform the BiH Constitutional Court of measures it undertook with the aim of executing this decision”, says the Constitutional Court in its announcement.
The reaction from RS, was more than sharp. For RS President, Milorad Dodik, this decision is not acceptable and RS will continue to celebrate this day as before.
“It is impossible to abolish this day because it is the day when RS was established and there is no other day to celebrate it. This decision is unacceptable and is one of bad and unlawful decisions the BiH Constitutional Court has made against RS, decisions made by two Bosniak Muslims and three foreigners who undermined any autonomous and political will in RS”, said Dodik to media in his reaction.
He added that this Court is a political body and that it has been proved by a number of decisions, such as the one on a RS coat of arms, the BiH Court and Prosecutor’s Office and many others, including the decision on the constitutionality of peoples. The BiH Constitutional Court is not a constitutional court, Dodik said, but a place where a political system is created and where political decisions are made, outside the Constitution and Law.
“The decision of the BiH Constitutional Court to declare Day of RS, January 9, unconstitutional, was made by the votes of foreign and Bosniak judges and it is an expression of a non-recognition of the legality and legitimacy of RS and Dayton solutions for BiH”, says legal expert, Mile Dmicic, to media.
He added that the decision cannot be implemented since it negates the creation of RS and does not respect its highest general legal act, which on the basis of the highest international, regional and domestic acts established the highest standards of human rights and freedoms for all constituent peoples and citizens in the whole territory of RS.
Izetbegovic, as the person who submitted the appeal to Constitutional Court, said that the decision is the triumph of those who are discriminated in RS with this holiday.
“On the same day RS celebrate “slava”, Day of patron saint, Saint Stephen, and it is Orthodox celebration. I doubt that Bosniaks and Croats, who live in RS, can identify with the Day of RS as their holiday, Izetbegovic said on a press conference in Sarajevo.
He added that he have nothing against RS and respects its existence and Dayton peace agreement as the act which confirmed RS as one of the two entities in BiH. Izetbegovic emphasized that RS is not exclusively a Serb entity, but also belongs to the Bosniaks and Croats who are living in it.
“BiH belongs to all its citizens and also entities, as parts of the state belong to all nations that live in them”, Izetbegovic stated, adding that he is supprissed by sharp reactions from RS.
Political analyst from Banja Luka, Tanja Topic, said that the decision brought BiH in the condition of high temperature. She said that the decision caused very problematic situation in BiH.
“Also, this is a strong punch on the face of Alliance for changes, RS parties alliance which are part of ruling coalition on the BiH level, together with Izetbegovic SDA party”, Topic said.
At this moment it is clear that, like many before, this decision of Constitutional Court will not be implemented. RSNA, several months ago, adopted a Declaration which says that Republic Day would not be abolished even if the BiH Constitutional Court ruled that this state holiday is unconstitutional.