EU, US Embassy: Day of Republika Srpska on January 9 is unconstitutional

NEWS 10.01.2020 09:00
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Source: N1

Celebrating the Day of Republika Srpska (RS) on January 9 is not in line with binding decisions by the Constitutional Court, the office of the EU Special Representative and the US Embassy in Bosnia told N1 on Thursday, calling upon local politicians to refrain from negative and divisive rhetoric.

Despite several Constitutional Court rulings, authorities in Bosnia’s Serb-majority semi-autonomous entity organised a celebration on Thursday, with Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik openly saying he will not respect the decisions of the court which were made by “three foreigners and two Bosniaks.”

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Bosnia’s Constitutional Court is composed of nine judges – two Bosniaks, two Serbs, two Croats and three foreign judges. Dodik has been accusing the institution of bias for years, arguing that the foreign judges frequently agree with the Bosniaks.

“The EU attributes great importance to the proper functioning of democratic institutions, including the implementation of Constitutional Court decisions, as mentioned in the Commission's Opinion on Bosnia and Herzegovina's EU membership application, and urges all political leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina to refrain from divisive rhetoric and focus on effective rule of law in order to tackle vital reforms on the EU path of BiH,” said a statement spokesperson at the EU Special Representative Office, Jamila Milovic-Halilovic, sent to N1.

“The European Union is committed to Bosnia and Herzegovina's EU perspective as a single, united and sovereign country,” it said.

N1 also asked the US Embassy about the celebration.

“The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has declared the celebration of the Day of Republika Srpska, on January 9, unconstitutional. Constitutional Court decisions are binding and must be respected under the rule of law. We support Republika Srpska celebrating its holidays in accordance with the decision by the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” the Embassy said, calling upon politicians to refrain from negative rhetoric and polarising activities.