Bosnia’s Serb-majority region will continue to respect its laws without paying much attention to the latest ruling by Bosnia’s Constitutional Court, the speaker of the Republika Srpska (RS) parliament, Nedeljko Cubrilovic, said on Tuesday.
“We can expect increased pressure by foreigners on leading politicians and even on institutions of Republika Srpska. As this pressure is increasing, so is the resistance among citizens of Republika Srpska and they will surely be able to respond to such challenges,” he said in light of the latest political crisis in Bosnia.
The country is composed of two semi-autonomous entities – the Serb-majority Republika Srpska (RS), and the Federation (FBiH), shared mostly between Bosniaks and Croats. The regions have their own governments and parliaments but are linked into one state by joint institutions, distributed among representatives of all three groups.
The RS National Assembly last month adopted a set of conclusions including instructions to representatives in state institutions to stop participating in all decision-making processes until a law that would remove all foreign judges from the Constitutional Court is passed.
The decision came after the Court ruled an RS law which declared agricultural land located in the region state property of Republika Srpska unconstitutional.
The Constitutional Court decided that Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the state, should be the owner of such land.
For years, the leader of the strongest Bosnian Serb party, Milorad Dodik, has kept accusing the Constitutional Court of working for the interests of the Bosniaks and against Republika Srpska.
The Court is composed of nine judges, two for each major ethnic group in the country and three foreigners. Dodik has been arguing that the foreign judges side with the two Bosniak judges too often, at the expense of the two Serb and two Croat judges.
Cubrilovic said that it is impossible to find even one legal expert in Republika Srpska who could justify the ruling by the Constitutional Court, arguing that the Serb judges disagreed with the decision and that “of a total of 16 Constitutional Court decisions that are not being respected, two are regarding Republika Srpska.”
He said he expects that the leading parties in the entity to put the interests of the entity above all in light of the upcoming local elections.