Bosnia's officials slam Montenegrin MP over unconstitutional holiday note

NEWS 10.01.2021 19:18
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Source: SAVO PRELEVIC / AFP

The congratulatory note by Montenegrin Prime Minister on the occasion of the Day of Republika Srpska, for which Bosnia's Constitutional Court said cannot be marked on January 9, means a “deep disrespect” for the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina and for court decisions, said Zeljko Komsic, the member of Bosnia's tripartite Presidency.

Komsic's statement came as a reaction on the note that Montenegro's PM Zdravko Krivokapic conveyed to the President of Republika Srpska, Bosnia's Serb-dominated region which marked its day on Saturday, despite the court ban.

“The lack of respect for the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina is an ultimate expression of disrespect for the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I expect from the Government of Montenegro to distance from the act of Montenegro's Prime Minister that was directly aimed against the sovereignty of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Komsic, the Croat member of Bosnia's Presidency.

Sefik Dzaferovic, the Bosniak Presidency member joined the criticism, recalling that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic also conveyed a message on this occasion.

“We understand very well the messages of that kind that come from our neighbours and we know how to treat them. I am convinced that those in Brussels and Washington understand such messages aimed against Bosnia and Herzegovina,” underlined Dzaferovic.

Among the political parties that condemned those messages were the Democratic Party Action (SDA) and the Alliance for Better Future (SBB BiH), who asked the Embassy of Montenegro to urgently declare on the note its Prime Minister sent.

Bosnia's Serb-majority region marked its day on Saturday, January 9, despite the decision of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina which decided in March 2019 that the holiday cannot be marked on that date.

The court decision came after a motion filed by Bosniak and Croat MPs, who argued that marking the RS Day on January 9, which is also a Serb Orthodox religious holiday, violates the rights of non-Serbs living there.

Bosnian Serbs celebrate January 9 because on that day in 1992 they declared the breakaway Serb state as founded. The so-called Serb Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina covered about half of Bosnia's full territory.

It was later renamed Republika Srpska, which is under current Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina an integral part of the country.

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