Decision on referendum next week

Decision on referendum next week

Banka Luka, July 7, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Mladen Dragojlovic

Awaiting news from New York, where UN Security Council discusses about the British draft of Resolution on Srebrenica, RS political parties representatives met to decide when they will hold the special session of RS National Assembly to consider the reactivation of the earlier call on referendum about citizens’ trust in BiH state Court and Prosecution office work.

Since the Srebrenica Resolution unified all Serb parties in their denial of this document with the explanation that it has not turned into a reconciliation, the referendum question caused different opinions of parliamentary parties, but one conclusion –  RS NA will discuss holding of the referendum in a special session on July 14. The session was called by RS president, Milorad Dodik, after government in Switzerland refused to extradite Srebrenica warlord, Naser Oric, in Serbia where he is accused of war crimes. Oric was sent back in BiH because BiH Prosecution office claimed that they also accused him for war crimes, but, right after his arrival, BiH Court ordered his release from detention. The court decision angered the Serbs in the region, with Dodik calling for a special session and expects that RS NA will decide in favor of referendum.

“The referendum is a legal and legitimate right of RS, where citizens have the right to express their position on every issue that concerns them. There are constitutional and legal grounds and political justification for holding this referendum”, said RS NA Speaker, Nedeljko Cubrilovic, to reporters in Banja Luka.

He added that such a referendum is not in violation of the Dayton Peace Agreement, as some international organizations in BiH declared, but represents one of the most significant forms of democratic expression of citizens.

“Whatever citizens decide on the referendum, it will not jeopardise the integrity and sovereignty of BiH. It is necessary to demand that the judicial reform in BiH be returned to the framework of the constitutional organisation with clearly stipulated jurisdictions”, Cubrilovic emphasized, adding that the democratic right of citizens must be respected.

Cubrilovic stressed that all government bodies and institutions that have transferred juristiction from Entity to the BiH level without agreement of RS and the FBiH are unconstitutional.

The referendum’s question should read: “Do you support the unconstitutional and unauthorized imposition of laws by the high representative in BiH, particularly the imposed laws on the BiH Court and Prosecutor’s Office, and the implementation of his decisions in the area of Republika Srpska?”.

The Deputy Speaker of the Republika Srpska Parliament, Nenad Stevandic, agreed that a referendum on this matter is necessary and said that it is not directed against anyone in BiH.

“We have enough time to understand that this issue is not worth of political wrangling in RS. This issue will make RS stronger in the protection of its interests”, Stevandic said, who recently abandoned RS NA opposition Serb Democratic Party (SDS).

However, opposition parties MPS are against the referendum, but their opinion is that session about this matter is necessary. On the press conference, they called the referendum a “political adventure”. According to their opinion, the referendum question is not the same as the question of 2011, when this matter was proposed for the first time, so this is not “the reactivation of this mechanism”.

They said that they are against the function of the BiH Court and Prosecutor’s Office as is now, and that they will propose amendments in a special session of Parliament. The head of the SDS Caucus in RS NA, Vukota Govedarica, said that his party will take a final position on the referendum before the RS NA session on this matter. His colleague from the Party of democratic progress, Branislav Borenovic, said that his party will not support something that could harm RS.