The Deputy Speaker of the parliament of Bosnia's Republika Srpska (RS) entity, a Bosniak, resigned on Wednesday, hours before lawmakers were to discuss his dismissal because his party adopted a resolution most Bosnian Serb leaders labelled as being detrimental to the interests of the Serb-dominated half of the country.
“I did nothing wrong in my job. This act cannot go by without our reaction on the political scene. I am submitting my irrevocable resignation from the post of Vice President (of the RS National Assembly), as I don’t want this to turn into a nationalist narrative targeting Bosniaks,” said Senad Bratic, a top official from the Party for Democratic Action (SDA), adding that “this post is not worth it.”
The proposal for the urgent RS National Assembly session where Bratic’s dismissal was to be discussed was submitted by the ruling party in the semi-autonomous entity, the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), and its coalition partners.
It came after the main Bosniak party in the country, the Party for Democratic Action (SDA), adopted on Saturday a Declaration containing their long-term goals which, among other things, are the establishment of a ‘Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina’ and the affirmation of a ‘Bosnian language’ as the ‘common identity of all of Bosnia’s citizens’.
Bosnia is according its Constitution, which is part of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, composed of two semi-autonomous regions - the Serb-majority Republika Srpska (RS) and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), mostly shared between Bosniaks and Croats. The entities are linked into a state by common institutions.
The state-level government is set up according to a power-sharing system between three majority ethnic groups, or ‘constituent peoples’ - Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs.
“The explanation of the request for scheduling the session with the proposal for the agenda states that the Party for Democratic Action has at its last congress adopted a political declaration which is directly aimed against the interests of Republika Srpska and that it deeply encroaches upon the current state setup of Bosnia and Herzegovina which guarantees the status of Republika Srpska and Serbs as a constituent people,” an RS National Assembly press release said.
It said that, as a top SDA member, “Senad Bratic participated in the adoption of this declaration,” that he is implementing a policy which is aimed against Republika Srpska and that he is acting contrary to the RS Constitution and laws.
Bratic said that he decided to resign in order to avoid the proposal for his dismissal “contributing to the inter-ethnic misunderstandings and the raising of tensions.”
“This initiative was submitted by the ruling coalition (in the RS) with the goal to present their political weakness as superiority and in order to connect political processes and misunderstanding with ethnic relations,” he said.
He added that the RS ruling coalition is moving in “the wrong direction.”