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15 Nov 10

Serbia's Tadic Attends Inauguration in Banja Luka

Serbian President Boris Tadic travelled to Banja Luka on Monday, where he attended the constitutive session of the National Assembly of Bosnia's predominantly Serb region, Republika Srpska.

Tanjug, EMG, Balkan Insight

The ceremony also included the inauguration of the new president of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, a close ally of Tadic.

In his speech to the Assembly, Dodik said that he was “in favor of a Bosnia-Herzegovina which is possible, and it is possible only with the Republika Srpska”.

“Those who are dreaming about unitary Bosnia or who hope that they will strip the RS of its authority under the cover of the EU integration requirements must know that we will never, under no conditions, give up on our autonomy. Not even if it means we will not join the EU,” he said.

However, he added that the RS “belonged to all of its citizens, regardless of their ethnic, religious or any other backgrond”.

“I will be the president of all the citizens…who are for the RS’s prosperity and preservation,” he said.

The new vice-presidents of the region were also inaugurated at the session. Emil Vlajki was elected to represent the Croats in the region and Enes Suljkanovic as a representative of the Bosniaks.

The inauguration of the officials comes after Bosnia held country-wide general elections on October 3. In the run up to the polls, Tadic and other Serbian officials attended rallies for Dodik's party, the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD).

Speaking before the event, RS parliament Speaker Igor Radojicic said that in addition to President Tadic, the constitutive session would be attended by some twenty ambassadors accredited in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The constitutive session began after the newly elected MPs receive their mandate certificates, and was chaired by the eldest deputy, Uros Gostic of the SNSD.
        
Under the Dayton Peace Agreement which ended Bosnia’s 1992-95 war, the country was split into two semi-autonomous entities – the predominantly Serb Republika Srpska and the Bosniak-Croat federation.

Each entity has its own parliament, government and president but the two are linked by weak central institutions.

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