The comments Bosnia’s Presidency Chairman Milorad Dodik made when he criticised a decision by the election authority to annul election results in two towns, implying that a member of the institution voted in favour of the decision because she was married to a Bosniak, were met with widespread criticism.
The Central Election Commission (CEC) decided on Thursday to annul the November 2020 local election results for 26 out of 28 polling stations in Srebrenica as well as 89 out of a total of 108 polling stations in the town of Doboj due to irregularities in the voting process.
Dodik, the Serb member of the tripartite Presidency and leader of the ruing party in the Serb-majority Republika Srpska (RS) entity, argued that the decision was illegal and announced it would be appealed.
He complained about one of the members of the Commission from Republika Srpska, Vanja Bjelica-Prutina, voting in favour of the decision.
“A lady who presents herself as representing the the Serb people is married to a Bosniak in Sarajevo. Someone might say what this has nothing to do with anything. Just don’t,” Dodik said.
His comment was met with criticism on social media.
Co-Chairman of the US-Europe Alliance, Reuf Bajrovic, tweeted that the comments represent “breathtaking Islamophobia and fascism at full display.”
Dodik slams a CEC member for being ‘married to a Bosniak’. Claims that’s the reason she, as a Serb, voted to annul the local election result in Srebrenica.
Breathtaking islamophobia & fascism at full display.
Lets see if EU officials remain silent to this. https://t.co/K0Nq4s6wA6
— Reuf Bajrović (@ReufBajrovic) January 21, 2021
“Whenever I hear Dodik attack in the most ruthless and disgusting, raw, arrogant way, I have mixed with feelings of happiness that I am a traitor according to his distorted criteria, and disgust towards his lackeys and followers,” Bosnian economist Svetlana Cenic tweeted.
Parliamentarian Dzenan Djonlagic, from the Democratic Front (DF), also commented on Dodik’s statement calling it “Islamophobia and hate speech”
“This can be felt in his spoken words when he explains the very correct and expected decision of the CEC BiH and member Vanja Bjelica Prutina” Djonlagic said, adding that Dodik implied she voted for annulling the election results because she is married to a Bosniak Muslim.
Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik claims a member of the BiH Central Electoral Commission, Vanja Bjelica can not represents Serbs as “she is married to a Bosniak in Sarajevo.”
This is a textbook example of fascism. Young people in BiH are sick and tired of it. This has to stop! https://t.co/oFAyTca9h5
— Samir Beharić (@SamBeharic) January 21, 2021