Banjaluka, November 29 – Srpska President Milorad Dodik has said that the Srpska officials signed a joint statement late on Sunday rejecting the decision of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina declaring certain provisions of the Srpska Holidays Law unconstitutional, and that they stood by the declaration recently adopted by the National Assembly.
“We believe that the Constitutional Court decision was made with an intervention from international representatives and that there is a need to adopt a law on the Constitutional Court as soon as possible, not later than 120 days from now. We demand that the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina review and adopt that piece of legislation,” Dodik told a press conference after the meeting that took place in Banjaluka late on Sunday.
Such a law will stipulate that a representative of the constitutive people and a representative of the entity constitute the majority for making decisions and that the foreign judges be removed from the Constitutional Court, he said.
If this is not done within 120 days, political parties will take their stands on the participation in the joint institutions and sign another joint statement to reflect that.
“We have agreed to organise a referendum, on the basis of the National Assembly decision, which would refer to the issue of whether the people in Republika Srpska support this decision of the Constitutional Court and whether they support January 9 as the Srpska holiday,” said Dodik.
The discussion on Sunday was constructive, Dodik said and expressed pleasure over the fact that the politicians managed to come up, under such complicated political circumstances, with a joint statement, calling on other political parties, institutions, bodies and even individuals to sign the statement as a part of the general attitude towards the Court’s ruling.
“Demonstrating absolute unity in Republika Srpska in this way, both of the political representatives and of the officials in Srpska and at the BiH state level, we have shown that we are capable and aware that we can respond to serious challenges in a very serious and united manner.
Dodik said an operational plan would be drafted to implement those views.
“Republika Srpska will propose a new law on the BiH Constitutional Court very soon, in the matter of weeks, to eliminate all possibilities to act, in a way, instead of the OHR, which has so far imposed decisions, and now we have the Constitutional Court which has intervened in the political system, political life and institutions in BiH with exactly the majorities that have presented themselves so far, and those are three foreigners and two Bosniaks,” noted the president.
He voiced conviction that the signed statement would be executed.
The meeting at the Palace of the Republic was attended by Prime Minister Zeljka Cvijanovic, BiH Presidency member Mladen Ivanic, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Nenad Stevandic, Chairperson of the Council of Peoples Nada Tesanovic, member of the Advisory Board of the BiH House of Representatives Mladen Bosic, member of the Advisory Board of the BiH House of Peoples Ognjen Tadic, and BiH Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Mirko Sarovic.
Other officials who responded to the president’s initiative were SNSD vice-president Nebojsa Radmanovic, leaders of the Democratic People’s Alliance, Marko Pavic, Socialist Party, Petar Djokic, Party of Democratic Progress, Branislav Borenovic, and People’s Democratic Movement, Dragan Cavic.
On November 26, the BiH Constitutional Court found that an article of the Srpska Holidays Law that stipulates January 9 as the Republic Day was unconstitutional and that the National Assembly should harmonise the piece of legislation with the State Constitution within six months.
The National Assembly of Republika Srpska had earlier adopted the declaration stating that the Republic Day would not be abolished even if the BiH Constitutional Court were to issue a decision that would declare the holiday unconstitutional.