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Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik said that he does not interfere with the operations of the Republika Srpska Radio-TV /RTRS/, as some want to impute. Dodik said that the RTRS is an independent public broadcaster which has its own approach to different issues and personalities and that he respects the freedom of the media.
Commenting on the call by BiH Security Minister Dragan Mektic to him to stop propaganda by way of RTRS, Dodik said it is the wrong impression that he manages any operations of this media outlet.
Noting that he tried to contact Mektic, but that he does not want to speak with him, Dodik said that it is high time everyone sat and organised a stable media presentation of positions and information.
He added that a call by the BiH Minister of Security to citizens to hit the streets to protest reflects the situation in the society, and added that he is proud that the gatherings passed peacefully.
Dodik said that it was the goal of the ruling coalition’s rally not to allow messages which the opposition wanted to be sent be sent from Banjaluka, and also not to allow demoralisation of its membership.
“We demonstrated that we have greater abilities and better organisation,” said Dodik, who is also the president of the SNSD.
He said that he spoke with opposition representatives prior to the protest and rally and that they agreed that the gatherings should pass peacefully.
Dodik said that he then invited SDS leader Mladen Bosic to come to the rally of the ruling coalition to speak, but that he asked that he also be allowed to address citizens at the opposition protest.
“Had they done that, they would have given a strong contribution to the democratisation of Srpska. Mr Bosic was not interested in this, but there was no lack of dialogue in these complex situations,” Dodik said.
He feels that the protest and the rally were not needed, but that these gatherings showed that Republika Srpska is able to secure such gatherings by way of its bodies, such as police, which acted professionally towards the participants of both gatherings who safely returned to their homes.