Although unconstitutional, the “January 9 Republika Srpska Day” celebrations were held in eastern Sarajevo, near the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The ceremonies in eastern Sarajevo, located in the Republika Srpska (RS) entity of the country, were attended by Serbian member and chairman of the Presidency Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina Željeka Švijanović and Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik, as well as Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, a Serb. Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Affairs Nikola Selakovich, members of the Republika Srpska Police were present.
It is noteworthy that the flags of the Republika Srpska were raised in the streets and government institutions for the celebrations.
In his statement here, Dodik said, “Republic of Srpska is a republic of peace. I am proud to watch RS go through a difficult time. I am proud today of the Republika Srpska police who maintain peace and order.” He said.
“The Serbs are suffering, but they are proud of their blood, they paid the heavy price of their freedom.” Dudek said, “Let’s get around RS because without RS, there is no ‘life’ for us in these areas.” He said.
Reactions to Unconstitutional Celebrations of “RS Day”
In a statement made by the High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina, “The participation and presence of public officials in such ceremonies constitutes a clear disrespect for the Constitution of BiH as well as the final and binding powers and decisions of the Constitutional Court. They must be respected.” Data included.
It was also emphasized in the statement that the actions and activities of Republika Srpska officials who celebrate the “Day of January 9 of Republika Srpska” can be rewarded.
On the other hand, Denis Bicevoric, a Bosnian member of the Presidency Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina, also responded to the “Republika Srpska Day” celebrations.
Bešerović called on Republika Srpska officials to respect the rule of law, create a positive environment among all peoples of the state, and promote stability and economic progress, instead of celebrating the unconstitutional “Republika Srpska Day”.
In the statement made on the social media account of the US Embassy in Sarajevo, it was stated that the celebrations of Republika Srpska Day are against the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and that Dodik’s decision to celebrate the day in question is illegal.
Republika Srpska Day “unconstitutional”
Evaluating the legality of January 9, at the request of Bakir Izetbegović, head of the Democratic Action Party, the largest Bosniak party in the country, in 2015, the Constitutional Court ruled that celebrating the day was unconstitutional and said it was discrimination. Against non-Serbs living within the borders of the entity.
Dodik, known for his separatist rhetoric, held a referendum within the entity’s borders in 2016, and 99 percent of those who voted in the referendum voted to celebrate January 9 as Republika Srpska Day.
The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina did not recognize the referendum and banned procedures for celebrating this day.
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