The attitude of the opposition Serb Democratic Party (SDS) towards the new international administrator in Bosnia, Christian Schmidt, will depend on his course of action, party leader Mirko Sarovic said on Saturday.
German politician Christian Schmidt is to take over the office of Austrian diplomat Valentin Inzko, who has been monitoring the civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement for more than a decade.
According to Sarovic, the messages Schmidt has sent so far are “more conciliatory than sharp,” but the German official has not revealed what course he will take when he assumes office.
“Our attitude towards him and his role in BiH will depend on his course, respecting the fact that he comes as a representative of a serious country such as Germany,” said Sarovic.
He criticised Schmidt’s predecessor for “leaving a huge burden” on Bosnia, arguing that Inzko caused a political crisis in the country.
Inzko used his special powers – the Bonn Powers – last Friday to impose amendments to the BiH’s Criminal Code which sanction the glorification of war criminals convicted by final and binding judgments, as well as the denial of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
The law came into force on Wednesday.
While welcomed by Bosniak top officials in the country, Inzko’s move prompted officials from Bosnia’s Serb-majority Republika Srpska (RS) entity, who have been denying that a genocide took place in the eastern town of Srebrenica for years, to discuss a “joint response.”
Political leaders in the RS, including those from the opposition, decided on Monday that members of their parties will not participate in the work of BiH institutions “until the issue is resolved.”
On Friday, the RS National Assembly formally decided to reject Inzko’s decision.
Sarovic said that Schmidt “should be aware of the public position of relevant political representatives” in Bosnia’s Serb-majority Republika Srpska (RS) entity towards Inzko’s imposed decision, “as well as about our non-acceptance of the use of Bonn powers, which is completely clear and certain.”