analysis 17 Oct 17

Referendum Pledge Haunts Bosnian Serb Supremo

Milorad Dodik’s controversial vow to hold a referendum on the powers of Bosnia’s state courts is likely to loom large as the Bosnian Serb assembly reconvenes in a fractious mood.

Danijel Kovacevic
BIRN
Banja Luka
Milorad Dodik. Photo: Anadolu

Tensions in the Republika Srpska, RS, are running high as both ruling and opposition parties prepare for new battles scheduled to take place at the next session of the parliament of Bosnia’s Serb-dominated entity on Tuesday.

Among the hot issues awaiting debate in this session, the most controversial is the referendum on the powers of the state-level judiciary, which is expected to bring clashes in the RS to another boiling point.

Following a meeting that RS President Milorad Dodik held on Saturday with the top officials, representatives of the ruling parties, and NGOs – but which the opposition boycotted – the referendum appears back on track, despite Dodik having previously promised to suspend it.

Holding the referendum would significantly increase already high ethnic and political tensions in Bosnia, and could lead to further pressure, and even international sanctions, against Dodik.

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