RS referendum violates peace

RS referendum violates peace

Banja Luka, August 2, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Mladen Dragojlovic

Since the decision on a referendum about RS Day was adopted in RS National Assembly, Bosniak parties in biH are calling International community High representative, Valentin Inzko, to react and to ban this event.

The most usual answer from Inzko office was that OHR is trying to determine whether the RSNA decision is against the Dayton Peace Agreement or it is in collision with it. Finally, in the interview published at Tuesday, Inzko gave the precise and unambiguous answer.

“The decision taken by the RS National Assembly on July 15 regarding a referendum in RS on the issue of RS Day violates the General Framework Agreement for Peace. According to this decision, the voters in RS are asked to decide on a question that has already been decided upon by the Constitutional Court of BiH. The BiH Constitution clearly states that the decisions of the BiH Constitutional Court are final and binding and the entities are bound to comply with decisions of the institutions of BiH”, Inzko says.

He recalled on the BiH Constitutional Court decision that RS Day, January 9, is not in accordance with BiH Constitution since it represents holiday just for Serbs and not for other nations which live in RS. On that day, 1992, the Serbs in BiH constituted a National Assembly and proclaimed Serb Republic in BiH, which later changed the name in Republic of Srpska. Bosniaks consider that day as the day when war in BiH begun in a political manner, and later resulted in warfare.

BiH Constitutional Court decided on this question on the demand of Bosniak member of BiH Presidency and leader of SDA Party, Bakir Izetbegovic. Inzko reminded that the BiH Constitutional Court, as an integral part of Annex 4 of the Dayton Peace Agreement has exclusive jurisdiction to decide on disputes arising under the BiH Constitution and that all authorities in BiH, including the RS authorities, are bound to implement its decisions.

“Decisions of the BiH Constitutional Court are not an a la carte menu where you respect the ones you like and reject the ones you don’t. When a court takes a decision, there will always be some groups which approve of the decision and others who do not agree with it. For example, when the Constitutional Court upheld the RS authorities in their case to remove the “Bosanski” prefix from a number of places in the RS, many political actors in BiH did not like this decision, but it was respected.  Similarly, many political actors may not like the court’s decision on Mostar, but they are working to implement it. No one is holding a referendum to say that they will never implement the court’s decision on Mostar. And so on”, Inzko emphasized.

He said that, rather than going against the decisions of a court, the authorities in the RS should be working together with others to resolve issues through dialogue. Inzko believe that all political disagreements can be resolved using the existing constitutional framework and through constructive dialogue.

“That is the way forward and I call upon the RS authorities to put this referendum aside and take action to implement the ruling of the BiH Constitutional Court”, High Representative in BiH emphasized.

Photo: OHR