RS Lawmaker candidate: A day spent in hatred is a day lost

NEWS 14.08.2018 11:37
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Source: N1

Patriotism is measured by how many people you feed and every day spent hating is a lost day, a Banja Luka city assembly member from an opposition party in Bosnia’s Serb-dominated part told N1.

Drasko Stanivukovic is a member of the Party of Democratic Progress (PDP), which is part of the ‘Alliance for Changes’ coalition of several parties that are challenging the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) and its leader Milorad Dodik in Bosnia'ss Serb-dominated semi-autonomous entity, Republika Srpka (RS), in the general election in October.  

The opposition coalition has accused Dodik of fearmongering and raising ethnic tensions as part of his pre-election campaign. Dodik accused them of being traitors.  

“You prove your patriotism by being the best in what you do,” Stanivukovic told N1 in a Tuesday interview.

“In Republika Srpska there are more than 5,000 people who belong to various political parties and who have three or four different government jobs. As a future lawmaker, I will insist on one person getting only one budget salary. This would free up thousands of jobs,” he said.  

Stanivukovic said that what sets him apart from other politicians is that his political engagement is backed up by “concrete actions.”

“My politics is not hot air,” he said.  

“People don’t follow politics as it has become hot air. You have to use a dictionary in order to understand politicians. The reports I publish are truthful,” he added, referring to the videos he posts on social media.  

Stanivukovic said he uses social media for his political engagement because most other media are not giving him a chance, especially not the public broadcaster, RTRS. He said that the videos he posts are viewed by up to 1,2 million people on a monthly basis.  

Stanivukovic said that in the two years he has been a lawmaker in the city assembly, he began to understand the mechanism of corruption and that it seems to be present even when door handles are being bought.  

“A door handle costs BAM 20. They charge BAM 30, and the true value is BAM 10. So, you find corruption even when you just grab the door handle,” he said.  

He also spoke about relations with other ethnic groups in Bosnia, explaining that he thinks everybody should understand that in this country there seem to be three truths although, realistically there is only one.  

“Each group ‘directs the water toward their own mill’,” he said, adding that he lost his paternal uncle to the 1992-1995 war in Kotor Varos, although his family was protecting the only Bosniak family left in town.  

“I am prepared to accept that other nations have their own truth. That is natural. There is no need for us to change each other’s minds,” he said.

“The truth is, we all lost someone in the war. We have to have a heart and bow to the victims. I am ready to bow first and say ‘I am sorry’,” he said.  

“A day spent in hatred is a day lost,” Stanivukovic concluded.