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news 19 Jan 15

Dodik Urged to Quit Bosnian Serb Party Leadership

A former senior figure in Milorad Dodik’s Alliance of Independent Social Democrats said that the Bosnian Serb party was in a dire situation and its leader should resign.

Elvira M. Jukic
BIRN
Sarajevo

 

Rajko Vasic, former general secretary of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, SNSD, rocked Bosnia’s political scene over the weekend with a blog post that urged the party’s leader Milorad Dodik to step down.

The post was a brutal analysis of the worsening internal situation inside the SNSD, which accused Dodik of hijacking the party, bringing “feudal-managerial” people into both the party and into the Republika Srpska government, and dismissing all those who dare to disagree with him.

Vasic said that the situation had weakened the SNSD internally and also led to poor results in the latest elections in October 2014. He projected that without major changes, the SNSD and Dodik would completely lose power in the next one or two election cycles. 

“Completely consciously and conscientiously, I put forward the demand that Milorad Dodik should withdraw from the position of president of the SNSD and take the place of honorary president,” Vasic wrote.

“That demand is based on the need for Dodik to be distanced from organisational and personnel policy,” he added.

For many years, Vasic was believed to be one of the main forces behind the SNSD’s political success, but he was also considered something of a loose cannon for his undiplomatic statements and brutally straightforward blogs.

In June 2013 he was forced to resign from his party position after writing a blog post calling students who were protesting against the government at the time “bastards”.

Vasic’s analysis of the situation inside the party was backed by Igor Radojicic, one of the highest-ranking SNSD members.

Radojicic, who in the past served as the speaker of the Republika Srpska National Assembly, and is now an MP in the entity’s parliament, wrote on Twitter that this was “the best and most systematic analysis of the situation within the SNSD ever written.”

Radojicic is one of the most popular SNSD politicians in Republika Srpska and many see him a potential successor to Dodik, who has been leading the party since its beginnings in 1996.

Vasic’s blog post and Radojicic’s tweet have added authority to warnings from local experts about growing rifts within the SNSD.

In the last general elections, the SNSD lost between 20,000 and 30,000 votes in ballots at different administrative levels.

Although the party managed to establish a weak coalition to form a government in Republika Srpska after the election, it found itself under pressure due to accusations that it allegedly bought the support of two MPs from opposition parties who helped it reach a slim majority and get support for its new cabinet. 

Dodik himself only narrowly defeat his main opponent, Ognjen Tadic, in the race for the Republika Srpska presidency, while his closest ally, Zeljka Cvijanovic, lost to opposition candidate Mladen Ivanic in the contest to become the Serb member of the tripartite Bosnian presidency.

 

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