The party in power in Bosnia’s Serb-dominated part dismissed on Tuesday allegations made by the Security Minister who said that the party is preparing violent incidents in Banja Luka ahead of the general election in October.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Security Minister Dragan Mektic alleged that the Government of Republika Srpska (RS), Bosnia’s Serb-dominated semi-autonomous entity, is preparing scenarios similar to the one that happened on Sunday, when a journalist working for a news channel that is critical of the RS Governmen, was beaten with metal bars by unknown assailants.
The Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) is in power in Republika Srpska, and Mektic is from a Bosnian Serb opposition party, the Serb Democratic Party (SDS).
The SNSD said it expects the prosecution to launch an investigation into the Minister’s accusations.
"If he has reliable information about any kind of violence that will take place in Banja Luka or Republika Srpska, as he says he does, the prosecutor’s office should react to this and he needs to share this information with the public in Republika Srpska," SNSD spokesperson, Radovan Kovacevic, said.
He added that the claim that his party was afraid of citizens of Banja Luka was "absolutely laughable" and that that his party is the most popular one in the city for nearly 20 years already.
The Security Minister also claimed that he was not the one who put a controversial writer, Zakhar Prilepin, on a list of people banned from entering the country but that the intelligence service did.
The writer, who last year fought alongside Russian separatists in Ukraine, was turned away from the Bosnian border on Thursday and told that his presence in the country represents a security threat.
This sparked outrage from the SNSD.
According to the Chairman of the RS National Assembly, Nenad Stevandic, Mektic does not know how to do his job.
"Mektic does not know what he should know," he said. "However, he does know things that are non of his business, which is presenting political messages and pamphlets. This speaks of a fear from an electoral defeat," Stevandic said.