The biggest opposition coalition in Republika Srpska, the Alliance for Victory, faced an election debacle and, a month after the elections it fell apart. Serb Democratic Party (SDS), Party of Democratic Progres (PDP) and Peoples Democratic Movement (NDP), were all defeated in the elections by the ruling coalition, headed by Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD).
Even in the “election night”, when all parties were waiting for the first results, it was obvious that something between the coalition partners was very wrong. Certain statements of coalition leaders gave reason to believe that they do not have the united viewpoints on the future of their cooperation. Right after the elections, when the SNSD victory was obvious, the problems in the SDS started. Party branches in several cities decided to cancel the obedience to the leadership and to start negotiations with SNSD about future cooperation. The biggest nightmare for SDS president, Vukota Govedarica, became a reality – two prominent members, Obren Pertović in Doboj and Milovan Bjelica in East Sarajevo, announced that they will support SNSD in the state Parliament, in order to “establish the Serb parties block and preserve the future of Republika Srpska and Serbs as constituent nation in Bosnia and Herzegovina”. After Petrović’s – who is mayor of the city of Doboj – meeting with SNSD leader and elected Serb member of the BiH Presidency, Milorad Dodik, SDS president Govedarica decided to excommunicate him from the party. However, Govedarica still did not do the same with Bjelica. Many believe that Bjelica is politically stronger in SDS than Govedarica and that the possible excommunication of Bjelica is a “red line”.
On the other side, leader of the NDP, Dragan Čavić, decided to wait for the final results of election and then called on the session of the party Main Board. Čavić represented the biggest opposition in RS National Assembly, criticizing the Government with strong arguments and firmly discussed the hardest issues that the ruling coalition was tried to pass. To the surprise of the majority of RS citizens, Čavić on Wednesday announced that he already started negotiations with SNSD and met Dodik in several occasions.
“We’ve contacted Dodik and were invited to discuss the government formation. We will take part in these talks”, Čavić said at the press conference.
He explained that he met with Dodik last Saturday when he was offered the position of the Director of the RS power company – Elektroprivreda RS.
“NDP has three main conditions in the government formation negotiations and those are: economy, the rule of law and social justice”, Čavić stated.
This decision sealed the end of the Alliance for Victory and it officially stopped to exist. PDP leader, Branislav Borenović, said that his party will continue the opposition work on all levels and will not negotiate with the ruling coalition.
The break-up of the opposition coalition and the events in the last month can be somewhat surprising for those who underestimated the power of SNSD and its 12 years as the ruling and strongest party in Republika Srpska. Those who followed the events more carefully noted that Dodik for the last several years is trying to destroy the opposition and its strongest link, SDS, from the inside. Confirmation that this is the case came from Banja Luka Mayor and one of the high SNSD officials, Igor Radojičić. In a post on Twitter, he said that “those who until now were entering the Presidential Palace in Banja Luka on the side doors, now will enter it on the main entrance”.
Having this in mind, the question is – did an opposition in RS ever, in fact, exist?/IBNA