“Rebel” opposition MPs blocked RS NA session

“Rebel” opposition MPs blocked RS NA session

The first Republic of Srpska National Assembly (RS NA) after summer holiday begun with revolt of opposition parties who blocked the normal work of this institution. Session was continued in the presence of ruling coalition and coalition “Homeland” members, but in the small hall of the same building.

The problem arose when RS NA Commision for Finances refused to put on the session schedule the Consolidated Report of RS Audit Office on RS Budget for 2016. On this Report, RS Ministry of Finances claimed that it is inaccurate and tendentious. The result was that RS president, Milorad Dodik, demanded RS Chief of The Supreme office for the RS public sector, Dusko Snjegota, to resign or he will be removed by RS NA majority on the first session. Snjegota at first refused to step down, but after meeting with Dodik, he did it and disappointed the RS NA opposition coalition which in this case see an opportunity for a large attack on ruling parties for undemocratic and tyrannical behaviour.

At the first session, which begun on Thursday, the opposition ultimately demanded that RS NA discuss this Report, but the speaker, Nedeljko Cubrilovic, refused since the Commission has the final word. The opposition based its demand on the fact that the RS NA Commission for Finances does not have the legitimacy to give an opinion, but rather that responsible Audit Committee didn’t hold a session on this issue and therefore RS NA must put this Report on discussion on the session. Along with this demand, opposition put another two ultimative demands: that RS Government answers all MPs questions which have been ignored for several months and to announce the decision on referendum about the legality of BiH Court and Prosecution Office on the RS territory.

RS NA, a few years ago, decided to hold the referendum on Court and Prosecution Office, but the decision was never published in “RS Official Gazette” and has yet to take effect. If RS NA fulfill this demand, the referendum will be obligatory and Dodik will be in deeper trouble than he is now.

Unsatisfied with the ignorance of their demands, opposition leaders decided to call their MPs to force the break of the session. They went at the podium where the RS NA speaker and his deputies sits and stood there in silence. Cubrilovic called them to go back on their seats, but they refused. In that instance Cubrilovic stopped the session.

During the break, opposition and ruling coalitions representatives blamed each other for the situation, trying to convince media that other side is working on the abolishment of Republic of Srpska, which in the last decade has been the ultimate accusation among the political rivals. However, as the RS NA building is not so small, Cubrilovic decided to continue the session with the majority of MPs from ruling and “Homeland” coalitions in the other, small hall. Earlier, he punished opposition representatives and banned them from participating at the session. That punishment like this is defined by RS NA Rulebook, the same document which opposition claimed was violated by the ruling parties.

Based on this punishment, police prevented opposition MPs to enter the hall where the session was continued. The scene was on the edge of incident but in the end the MPs withdrew. After that, opposition leaders announced that they will demand the resignation of RS NA speaker, Cubrilovic, and several other persons for violation of the Rulebook.

The situation is still not over and the final solution is expected in next few days. The question is: why opposition begun the rebellion now, but not earlier? Why is it important for them to trigger this events just a year before general elections, in fall next year?

Maybe the answer is the fact that Dodik, according to some analysis, has one of the lowest supports ratings from citizens in last several years and now is the moment when opposition can force snap elections. Dodik already called opposition leaders to hold a meeting and to solve this situation, which is the “dance on the wire” for all actors./IBNA