RS Court opened the door for referendum

RS Court opened the door for referendum

Banja Luka, August 11, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Mladen Dragojlovic

RS Constitutional court concluded on Thursday that vital national interests of Bosniaks are not violated with the decision of RS National Assembly to organize a referendum on January 9, as the RS Day.

This date was opposed by BiH Constitutional court since, as it was said in the decision, “it doesn’t reflect the constitutionality of all nations in RS and is exclusive Serb holiday. RS NA, on the suggestion of entity president, Milorad Dodik, concluded that it is necessary to organize the referendum in order to prove that BiH Court decision is against the will of the majority of people who live in RS.

Bosniaks in Council of nations tried to stop the referendum demanding from RS Constitutional court to discus about the violation of vital national interest in this case. But this Court decided that there is no violation.

“The vital national interest of Bosniaks have not been violated by the decision of the RSNA to call a referendum on RS Day”, the Court says in its decision.

The Bosniak Caucus in the RS Council of nations said in its request that the decision to call a referendum was contrary to the decision of the BiH Constitutional Court which had determined that January 9, as Republika Srpska Day, was not in accordance with the BiH Constitution. In their request they emphasized “January 9, RS Day, which is unacceptable for the Bosniak people, must be abolished and cannot be celebrated as a holiday anymore, regardless of the will of the citizens and the RS authorities”.

The Court expressed the opinion that the applicant did not point to the violation of any of the rights from the scope of vital national interests of the constituent peoples the way they are defined by the RS Constitution.

The decision triggered a new wave of reactions and statements from Bosniak politicians about the endangerment of Bosniaks in RS. Most of those who reacted in the first hours after the decision said that RS Constitutional court is the instrument of one party and Serb nation but not in the function of reconciliation. They called on the international community High representative in BiH, Valentin Inzko, to react and abolish the referendum. Inzko earlier clearly said that OHR opinion is that there is no need for referendum on the issue, something which the BiH Constitutional had court already decided.

On the RS Constitutional court decision, reaction came from US Embassy in Sarajevo which, in the press release, emphasized that the referendum is not in the best interest of anybody in BiH.

“The holidays are an important part of every culture. Instead of continuing with the preparations for unconstitutional referendum, leaders should work to resolve misunderstandings in the interest of all citizens. The referendum will spend valuable resources, but there will be no progress in this issue. Talks on a comprehensive national law on holidays, acceptable within the current legal framework, does not cost anything, but with good will, that discussion can achieve concrete results”, says the US Embassy.

The Serb representative expressed their satisfaction with decision and, according to Dodik, they will continue with it, regardless of the opinion of all other political players in BiH.