RS extraordinary elections the solution?

RS extraordinary elections the solution?

The RS National Assembly, as it is now obvious, is working under hard conditions, facing regular interruptions from opposition MPs who are trying, as they say, to “prevent unlawful making of decisions important for RS citizens”. Still it is unclear how rebels in RS’s NA intend to solve the problems with democracy in the highest legislative institution in this BiH entity.

Opposition leaders have problems to express their demands since the situation between them is not so good and, apparently it is also improperly coordinated.

One of the demands, which they presented to RS president, Milorad Dodik, is for him to use his constitutional power and dismiss the Parliament. The next step would be snap elections, with a less-than-a-year-mandate, until the regular polls, in October 2018.

For now, Dodik has refused to do that, saying that the RS NA is working in full capacity since the ruling coalition is able to bring lawful decisions, even without the presence of opposition.

The fact that parliamentary sessions are held in the small hall of the Assembly building, does not change the regularity of decisions. Twice in the current period, the hall for the plenary sessions was blocked by opposition MPs who “occupied” the spot behind RS NA Speaker, Nedeljko Cubrilovic, and his deputies.

Demand for extraordinary elections is in total accordance with the law, but in the case of BiH and legislatively wise, instructions are unclear.

According to the RS Constitution and under defined conditions,  the entity president has the power to dismiss the RS National Assembly and call for extraordinary elections.

The demand for dismissal must come from the legally determined number of MPs or certain, legally defined persons. RS President, also by powers given to him by the RS Constitution, calls for elections, which would be organised by BiH’s Central Election Commission. In that case, the mandate of the newly elected MPs would end in October next year.

Opposition leaders might not see anything controversial here, but members of the ruling coalition parties are against this situation. They said that nothing would be changed and all parties would keep the same rank in Parliament as the one they have now. Simply, according to them, extraordinary elections would mean throwing money into the wind.

According to the latest opinion polls, the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) is still the strongest party in RS and the coalition under its leadership would, in case of elections, win the majority.

But, since the truth is that SNSD is still very strong, the trend is saying that they are losing part of their voters. According to earlier polls, SNSD enjoyed wider support than now.

The simplest explanation is that part of SNSD supporters are now supporting United Srpska (US), with Nenad Stevandic heading it and Democratic Peoples Alliance (DNS) led by Marko Pavic.

US was established by Nenad Stevandic before last year’s local elections and after he had stepped out from the opposition Serb Democratic Party (SDS), and the supported ruling coalition.

His party gathered all the unsatisfied SDS members, but a number of them came from SNSD since Stevandic was not autocrat like Dodik.

The relations in this party are more loose than in SNSD and new members prefer to choose this party rather than the SNSD.

DNS, an old branch of the SNSD led ruling coalition is one of the parties which get stronger after every election. Last year, many new members brought it to the third place in RS, pushing opposition PDP down to the fourth position.

Opposition leaders are aware that they must do something radical in order to attract voters to vote for them in the next elections, either extraordinary or regular. One of the things would be to hold the “citizens assemblies” in bigger cities and explain to people why they would be a better solution than the SNSD led coalition. The outcome after these “assemblies” is not very promising yet.

The establishment of new parties which gather citizens of different social backgrounds you used to abstain is one of the used methods. a good example is the “First SDS”, formed by veteran members of the SDS who are unsatisfied with today’s SDS party. Years ago, they left the party and withdrew from political life. Among them, there are several ex-ministers and PMs who were with RS governments during wartime.

Knowing history, this is a rare situation, since SNSD was in the coalition of parties which pushed SDS from power, in the end of the 20th century. One of the leaders of the 1998 events was Milorad Dodik, whose party the First SDS would support in any elections.

But, that is Bosnia…/IBNA