Today marks the 28th anniversary of the adoption of the first Constitution of the Republic of Srpska, one of the most important constituent acts that formed the basis for its creation.
The first Constitution of the Republic of Srpska was adopted on February 28, 1992, under the name of the Constitution of the Srpska Republic of BiH and was the basis of the legal power, security, legality and legitimacy of the Republic of Srpska.
This act defines the political framework of the Republic of Srpska and the functioning of its democratic institutions, and establishes the foundation on which Srpska still rests today.
With the passage of the first Constitution, the Srpska people and its then leadership sent a clear message that they wanted to live in a democratically regulated society in which the rights and freedoms were guaranteed to all who respected the act.
The then generation of politicians showed that she had the courage, desire, strength and vision to regulate Republic of Srpska through its largest legislative act – the Constitution.
The first bold step of the Serb MPs in Sarajevo and their historic decision to establish the Assembly of the Serbian People, on October 24, 1991, marked the creation of the Republic of Srpska.
The Assembly of the Serb People in BiH was established after Serb MPs were overthrown in the Assembly of the then SR BiH on October 14, 1991.
The Assembly issued a plebiscite on the rest of the Serb people in the then common state of Yugoslavia, where Serbs in BiH voted almost 100 percent for the option.
Muslims and Croats did not acknowledge the result of the plebiscite, after which Serb lawmakers from all parties in the Assembly of the SR BiH continued to work in the Assembly of the Serbian People and began enacting the acts establishing the Republic of Srpska.
Of the ten constituent acts that are the constitutional basis for the creation of the Republic of Srpska, two are the most important – the Declaration on the Proclamation of the Republic of Srpska and the Constitution of the Republic of Srpska.
The Assembly of the Srpska People of BiH adopted the Declaration on 9 January 1992 and the Constitution on 28 February 1992.
Adopted unanimously on the basis of the Declaration of Incorporation, the first Republic of Srpska Constitution guaranteed full equality and equality of the peoples and citizens of the Republic.
As the highest constitutive legal act, it determined the type of regulation, the system of organization of government and all other levers of the system, and on the same day a Constitutional Law was adopted that enabled its implementation and functioning of the Republic.
The Constitution was adopted with the original intention of preventing early recognition of BiH and of warning international actors and reasoning to begin serious discussions on BiH’s internal order, because the one that existed under the 1974 Constitution of BiH could not maintain internal peace and national balance.
The Constitution is the most important document confirming the continuity of the existence and functioning of democratic institutions and the state-building of Republika Srpska within BiH.
The highest legal act of Republic of Srpska, which with some amendments is still in force today, was adopted before the outbreak of the tragic conflicts and the declaration of independence of BiH out of the will of the Srpska people.
Some of the provisions of the Constitution were drafted autonomously in the National Assembly, and some were imposed by the international community. Among the changes are those related to limiting the powers of Srpska for the benefit of the joint bodies of BiH, as well as the establishment of the Council of Peoples.
Speaker of the National Assembly of Republic of Srpska Nedeljko Čubrilović said that the Constitution of Srpska, as the highest legal act, is the basis of freedom, preservation of the constitutional position, strengthening and development of the Republic, and protection of equality and equality of all citizens and peoples living in the Republic of Srpska.
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Srpska, Radovan Višković, said that the first Constitution defined the political framework of the Republic and the functioning of its institutions, created the foundation on which Srpska still rests, and made it clear that the Serbian people wanted to live in a democratically organized society.
Serb Member of the BiH Presidency Milorad Dodik emphasized that the adoption of the first Constitution of the Republic of Srpska was a continuity of the state-making of the Serbian people, who throughout history knew that they created states and regulated them.
– With that Constitution, we stated that we want to build a state on democratic principles with democratic institutions that will protect not the only Republic of Srpska, as a political framework for its citizens, but also for every citizen of it, regardless of nationality or religion – Dodik emphasized.
The Republic of Srpska Representation in Serbia is organizing a ceremonial reception today in Belgrade on the occasion of the Republic of Srpska Day and the 28th anniversary of the adoption of the first Constitution of the Republic of Srpska.