Banja Luka, October 11, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Mladen Dragojlovic
Delegates in RS National Assembly adopted the report submitted by entity Referendum Commission and it was the final act in this controversial case in BiH.
According to RSNA, with its adoption, the results became final and everybody must respect the will of citizens which they expressed on September 25. It also means that majority of citizens is against the decision of BiH Constitutional Court which declared January 9 as a RS Day unconstitutional. The question on the referendum was “Do you support that January 9 be marked and celebrated as RS Day?. Resident of the Commission, Sinisa Karan, stated in the RSNA that referendum was carried out in accordance with the Law on Referendum and Civic Initiative.
The National Assembly concluded that the referendum result is valid, as 680,175 persons cast their votes, or 55.78 percent. In adped report is emphasized that 677,771 persons, or 99.81 percent, voted for, and 1,298 persons voted against January 9 as a holiday. The referendum result will be published in the Official Gazette of RS and then will be legal. During discussion on this issue in the RSNA, opposition MP, Dragan Cavic, said that he voted for the referendum and agreed with the question but nobody on that session, July 15, said that “the purpose of referendum is the implementation of BiH Constitutional Court decision on this matter”.
“If I knew that on the session, I would never have voted for the referendum”, Cavic said.
He proposed the conclusion of the caucuses of SDS, PDP and NDP seeking to oblige the RS Government to provide funding and full support to the members of the Commission for administering the referendum on RS Day, due to possible proceedings before judicial institutions of BiH. RSNA adopted this conclusion since several members of the Referendum Commision had already been called in BiH Prosecution’s office to give a statement about this “illegal activity”.
The RS National Assembly decided that the mandate of the Commission is finished and authorized it in the part relating to the participation in the proceedings before the BiH Constitutional Court.
Head of the SNSD Caucus in the RS National Assembly, Radovan Viskovic, said in the debate that all possible support will be provided to the Commission members.
MPs of the Bosniak and Croat Parties in RSNA, gathered in Coalition “Homeland” refused to participate in the parliamentary debate on this question. RSNA vice president, Sead Bratic, said to the media that the Venetian Commission, Peace Implementation Council and Office of High Representative said that the referendum is not in accordance with BiH Constitution and that it is illegal.
“We don’t want to participate in this illegal activity and, because of that, we don’t want to be in the hall during this discussion”, Bratic said.
Since RSNA adopted the decision about the referendum the highest international community officials condemned the intention of RS to put into the question the decision which was adopted on the BiH Constitutional Court session. But, RS Government, president Milorad Dodik and all parties agreed to “protect the holiday” since it symbolizes the establishment of this entity.