RS president: Tadić did not deserve to lose elections

"I stand at the disposal of the new Serbian president (Tomislav Nikolić) for any type of cooperation that is in the interest of the strengthening of Serbia and the RS. This especially goes for the implementation of special ties, and further integration of our two states."

Večernje Novosti

This was the message heard from the Republic of Srpska (RS) President Milorad Dodik - who spoke without hiding he was disappointed by the defeat of Boris Tadić in the presidential election, but at the same time expressing his respect toward any decision made by the voters in Serbia.

Do you think Tadić's decision to take over as prime minister is good?

Boris Tadić did not deserve to be defeated. As a friend my advice to him is to - if he has decided to form a government - do that without hesitation. In that way he will be able to bring in new energy and show a clear intention to stabilize Serbia. Unless he can forge a strong and efficient government, he's better off in opposition. In that case, time will show that Tadić and the DS - which, like any party, has its weaknesses - represented the best choice after all.

What will your cooperation with Nikolić look like, considering that you directly supported Tadić during the campaign?

I will cooperate with Tomislav Nikolić within the scope of institutional powers that we have, but also with a desire that the RS and Serbia should continue their good cooperation as part of the special relations that exist between our two states. If Nikolić is interested in that, I am ready for cooperation. I regret that Tadić lost in the presidential elections in Serbia, but I respect the will of the electorate.

Did you speak to Serbia's newly-elected president after the elections? Did you agree on some sort of cooperation?

We did speak, but only related to the election results. I first congratulated him on his victory in written form, and then we spoke on the phone. That's customary.

Do you expect Nikolić to continue the policy of reconciliation, similar to that of his predecessor?

At this point it's impossible to know what his policy will be like. I have not spoken to him on that subject. Let's allow the man to work, then we'll see the results. Nikolić is, no doubt about it, at this point subjected to many challenges. With that in mind, I hope he doesn't live to regret being elected as head of state. In any case, I wish him success.

Chances are big that a future government will include the LDP, which holds the view that the RS is a genocidal creation.

The type of stances advocated by Čedomir Jovanović have been rejected by the voters. A large number of citizens originally from Bosnia-Herzegovina live in Serbia, and they understand very well the situation on both sides of the Drina River. We don't believe in stories about anyone in Serbia being prepared to abandon the Serb Republic and its people.

Will Serbia, with a new president, be able to be a guarantor of a strong Serb Republic?

We are interested in a strong Serbia. We wish that there is a strong Serbia which we can be proud of. With such parent country, the RS is stronger too, and dedicated to achieving joint national goals. The past two decades have not been fair to Serbs in Kosovo, Bosnia, Croatia... We were the target of evil plans aimed at tearing our people apart.

Will Serbia, even in a state of cohabitation that is on the horizon, have the strength to continue reforms and maintain its strong ties with Banja Luka?

If anyone in Serbia were to the neglect the relations with the RS, Banja Luka will be there to warn of the bad results of such a policy. And I will remind you that such messages have already been heard in Belgrade.

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