Dodik sets condition for return of RS entity representatives to BiH institutions

NEWS 26.01.2022 17:53
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Milorad Dodik
Source: Milorad Dodik (N1/F.Z.)

Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of Bosnia's tripartite Presidency, said the representatives of the Republika Srpska entity will return to the state institutions once the Serb-majority part of the country is no longer called “genocidal.”

He said he and his SNSD, the ruling party in the Serb entity, are trying to solve the issues and that their intention is to speak to all actors in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Dodik also announced a session of the RS entity parliament on February 1, where representatives of all parliamentary political parties will discuss the current situation.

The RS National Assembly Speaker Nedeljko Cubrilovic previously invited the leaders of two largest Bosniak and Croat political parties in BiH, the SDA and HDZ BiH – Bakir Izetbegovic and Dragan Covic, to address this session and start the dialogue.

“Unfortunately, Izetbegovic rejected it as he rejects everything else, he is captured and captivated in his own ideas. I am ready to talk to anyone, any place any time,” Dodik said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Izetbegovic thanked for the invitation, noting that talks on the solutions to the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina can take place only in the Parliament of BiH and other competent state institutions. A day ago, Covic said he would take a stance on this invitation later, without specifying when he could officially respond.

The RS representatives in the state institutions have been boycotting the work of the state institutions for months, as a response to the law on genocide denial that was imposed last year by now former international peace envoy Valentin Inzko. Inzko, as the international community's High Representative used the special powers he was assigned with as a final interpreter of the Dayton Peace Agreement, a peace deal that ended the Bosnian 1992-95 war and introduced the country's constitutional setup.

Dodik is a strong opponent of the High Representative's presence in the country and wants his office to be closed.

In addition to the boycott of the state institutions, the entity parliament also adopted a law that rejects Inzko's genocide denial ban as well as amendments to the RS Criminal Code, according to which calling Republika Srpska a “genocidal creature” would be punishable by law.

Now, Dodik has set it as a condition for return of the RS representatives to the state institutions that using the term “genocidal” is punishable by law when used in reference to either BiH, RS and Federation entities, or any canton. The same ban would be applied on any group, including the Serbs, Bosniaks or Croats.

“We still find imposing of laws unacceptable, but we obviously cannot have a dialogue on that. So, we propose one new law that will to some extent solve this situation, but the problem of imposing and qualifications that were given there still remains,” he said.

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