"Nothing will keep RS in Bosnia unless powers are restored"
Milorad Dodik says nobody will be able to keep the RS in Bosnia unless its original powers, stemming from the Dayton peace agreement, are restored.Source: Beta
Speaking in front of a Serbian Orthodox church in Banja Luka on Monday, as the Serb Republic (RS) marks its day and 25th anniversary, the entity's president said the RS was "primarily interested" in a reinstatement of those powers.
"Since those powers were abolished by the decisions of high representatives, outside the agreement, which was violated also by the decisions of foreign judges, the RS is determined to affirm its original Dayton powers," he said, according to Beta.
Speaking about the RS Day celebration and the anniversary of its founding, Dodik said it proved that the RS managed to survive under almost impossible conditions and circumstances of "enormous international interventionism that acted on the basis of the Bosniak (Muslim) vision of what Bosnia-Herzegovina should look like."
"Today, 25 years later, the RS is determined to live its life as a state, and is determined to exercise its original rights, in line with the Dayton agreement," said Dodik.
According to him, this is the entity's international right, "while at the same time the activities of international representatives and foreign judges in the Constitutional Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina cannot be a measure of its freedom."
"It's a measure on non-freedom to us, and that is why we will reject with determination any attempt to impose quasi-decisions brought by the Constitutional Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina," the RS leader said.
Beta agency is reporting that the Constitutional Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina earlier overturned the provisions of the Law on Holidays of the RS according to which January 9 is marked as RS Day, while this decision was published in the Official Gazette of the RS.
The court found that celebrating January 9 as RS Day was discriminatory toward the non-Serb citizens of the RS, considering that the entity's slava (patron saint day), St. Stefan - an Orthodox Christian holiday - was also marked on the same day.
A referendum was held in the Serb entity on September 25 when citizens decided that January 9 should continue to be marked as Republic Day. A month later, the National Assembly of the RS passed the Law on the Day of the RS.
According to the new law, this is a secular and "non-binding" holiday.
The Assembly also instructed the RS government to harmonize the Law on Holidays, in the part pertaining to expression of religious freedoms, but the government is yet to do this, Beta said.