In an interview with N1 on Thursday, Bosnian Serb Presidency member Milorad Dodik apologised to “everyone who perceived it as a threat” when he said that his party will stop all investments from the government level of Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity to the city of Banja Luka because citizens voted his party colleague and incumbent mayor out last weekend, opting for his rival.
Dodik is the leader of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), the ruling party in Bosnia’s Serb-majority semi-autonomous Republika Srpska entity.
The SNSD’s candidate, Igor Radojicic, lost the post of the mayor of Banja Luka, the administrative centre of the RS, in the Sunday local election for the first time in 22 years to opposition candidate Drasko Stanivukovic.
The next day, Dodik announced that his party would freeze all entity government investments into the city “until we see how the city will politically develop.”
A day later, the Bosnian Serb leader argued that what he meant was that his party will continue implementing all of its ongoing projects in the city but will not support the programme of the new mayor.
In an interview with N1, Dodik said he was sorry people perceived his initial statement as a threat.
“I will do everything I can for Banja Luka to remain dominant and to continue to be built, I was born there, even though I don’t see eye to eye with the mayor,” Dodik said.
He explained that he is an “emotional person” and admitted that he is “not happy” with some of his statements, adding that he does not remember all of them.
When asked to comment on the fact that the elections have brought a younger generation of politicians to the political scene, Dodik said he does not mind the youth taking over.
“But I will not support this youth,” he said, referring to 27-year-old Stanivukovic.