Referendum commission’s session in Banja Luka ends in deadlock

Referendum commission’s session in Banja Luka ends in deadlock

The Commission for the implementation of the referendum on the BiH Court and the Prosecutor’s Office held the first session on Friday in Banja Luka to discuss organizational and technical issues related with their competencies established by the Law on Referendum and Citizens’ Initiative.

In a brief statement issued after the session, members of Commission emphasised that the referendum question relates to the organization and work of judicial bodies and institutions at BiH level. The Commission representatives announced that there would be no live statements, despite the intention of the Media to follow this session.

The President of the Commission is the lawyer Zeljko Mirjanic, and members are Ljiljana Dabic, Vili Kuljanac, Mile Dmicic, Dragan Ristic, Zeljko Skondric, Dragoljub Reljic, Dobrila Drinic and Darko Kremenovic. All of them are members of the parties of the ruling RS coalition (SNSD, SP, DNS and SDS-K).

This referendum and its implementation is one of the biggest rearks of the opposition parties to ruling coalition. According to the opposition, the referendum on judicial institutions and the trust of RS citizens in their work is just one of the false promises of parties on power to citizens. Therefore, they demanded the publication of the referendum decision in RS Official Gazette, two years after RS National Assembly adopted the decision on the referendum. As it is now official, the referendum should take a place on November 19. The only scenario that would prevent it from taking place is if RS NA suspends its own decision, as RS president Milorad Dodik announced as a possibility.

Since this issue is not on the agenda of next RS Parliament session, the opposition went a step forward and asked what are the activities of the Commission, whether they are preparing the referendum, how much it would cost, how many ballots would be printed and demanded another explanations related to this issue.

The repsonse of the ruling coalition was that they organized the Commission session, but it seems that its members did not agree on anything. The official press release after the session was two sentences long. The destiny of the referendum is still unknown since BiH Court acquitted Srebrenica warlords, Naser Oric and Sabahudin Muhic, for war crimes against Serb civilians during war in BiH. In an attempt to reach national and political unity and to send a joint answer to BiH judiciary institutions, Dodik called all Serb parties, Serb members of BiH joint institution, presidents of RS institutions and legal experts to hold a meeting on Saturday, October 14, but opposition parties refused the invitation.

“The invitation you sent to us would be a great honour if we were convinced that your intentions are sincere and in the spirit of your role described in the Constitution of the Republic of Srpska, which defined that the President of the Republic is committed to expressing state unity and representing the Republic”, the opposition leaders stated in a letter to Dodik.

He expressly answered that the opposition shows that they are traitors and that they put personal interests above the interests of RS.

With the latest development of the political battle between opposition and ruling parties, in this BiH entity everything is possible, including early elections. But the real question is – how good will that be for RS citizens?/IBNA