Opposition parties in Republic of Srpska National Assembly expect the fall of entity government after they won the first big victory over ruling parties in Parliament.
Majority of MPs in the RSNA voted on Wednesday late afternoon against the sale of entity stock package in Ljubija mine to Israeli investment group. Against this arrangement voted even some of the MPs from the ruling parties coalition. It is important to say that Democratic People’s Alliance (DNS) is the part of ruling coalition together with Alliance of independent social democrats (SNSD) and Socialist Party (SP), but its representatives in RSNA earlier said that they will not support the contract between RS Government and Israeli company because it is not a respectable company in this area. On the other side, the company Arcelor Mittal, which came in the region years ago, has a reputation of one of the biggest companies in steel production. Also, DNS leader, Marko Pavic, established this party in Prijedor, the city nearest to Ljubija, and the whole area felt a positive development with ArcelorMittal contract. This company, as RS Government said, failed to give better conditions for stock package and the decision to sell it to the Israeli company came naturaly.
The two-day long debate in RSNA, which must give permission for sell of stocks in this company, was full of mutual accusations between opposition and ruling coalition. Part of the discussion was held in the lobby, where journalists had a chance to see persuasion of MPs to vote in favour or against the contract. Part of discussion took RS President, Milorad Dodik, but it was not enough that RSNA to verify the contract with the Israeli company.
After the voting, Dodik said that he will not see the result as his personal defeat and that it will be very interesting to analyse who voted in favour and who against the contract. Several media understood this as the beginning of the review of relations in the ruling coalition. It is also interesting that RSNA speaker and high ranked DNS official, Nedeljko Cubrilovic, was restrained on the voting about this contract. Bosniak-croat coalition in RSNA also didn’t want to put itself on somebody’s side so they were restrained.
Representative of Israeli company in RS, Evgeni Zotov, told the media that the company will not give up from Ljubija ore mine and that they will continue negotiations with RS Government but also with ArcelorMittal. Popular TV presenter, Mato Djakovic, supposed to have had an interview with Zotov on entity public broadcaster RS Radio Television (RTRS), but it was canceled without an explanation. The opposition believes that the interview was previously recorded and that it reflected the situation that RSNA gave permission for the contract. Since it was not the case, RTRS withdrowed the interview.
The opposition sees the result of the voting as a good ouverture to RSNA session scheduled for May 31, when MPs will discuss and vote for the parliamentary support to the actual RS Government. As they said, it is important that the SNSD leadership in the coalition is not so stable any more since DNS dared to dispute the contract with the Israeli company.