Srebrenica Assembly adopts budget without Bosniak representatives present

NEWS 31.03.2021 16:38
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Source: FENA

The local assembly in the eastern town of Srebrenica adopted the 2021 budget for the town on Wednesday, but only ethnic Serbs voted because Bosniak representatives are boycotting what they argue is the “illegal” work of the assembly.

The budget amounts to 11,5 million Bosnian Marks.

No appointments were made at the session for the posts of President of the Municipal Assembly of Srebrenica or the Deputy Mayor of the Municipality of Srebrenica, who are supposed to be Bosniaks.

The first part of the session took place on Monday, and members of the Bosniak coalition in the town, ‘My Address: Srebrenica’, left the room at the beginning, arguing that no coalition agreement was signed between Serb and Bosniak political representatives.

“Members of the Coalition ‘My Address: Srebrenica’ will not participate in future illegal sessions of the Municipal Assembly of Srebrenica convened by the Vice President of the Municipal Assembly of Srebrenica, since the Assembly is not constituted in accordance with the Law on Local Self-Government, Statute and Rules of Procedure of Srebrenica Municipality,” the Bosniak coalition said.

Srebrenica’s Mayor, Mladen Grujicic, said the budget had to be adopted, arguing that “we really couldn't wait any longer.”

“This was done because the municipal budget is on temporary financing, and further delays due to blackmail and pressure would lead to us being on temporary financing for the next three months, which is not in favour of the citizens. We cannot do any capital project until we adopt the budget,” he explained.

Grujicic, a Bosnian Serb and a member of the ruling party in in the country's semi-autonomous Republika Srpska (RS) entity, said that “Bosniaks who boycotted the assembly should explain to the citizens of Srebrenica why they are doing it,” arguing that they turned down a very good offer in the government formation process – “to get nine positions for six Bosniak councillors, and nine positions for Serb councillors.”

He said that if it is not possible to have a dialogue with the Bosniak representatives, there are “alternative solutions.”

“If these representatives of Bosniaks do not want to talk, we will find others who are professional, qualified and who want to talk, they do not have to be councillors,” Grujicic said.

The conclusion was adopted that the budget for this year will be rebalanced within 60 days.

The My Address: Srebrenica coalition said that it came across information that “the illegal work” of the assembly was approved by the Ministry of Administration and Local Self-Government of Bosnia’s Serb-majority Republika Srpska (RS) entity.

This, according to the Bosniak representatives, “confirms the commitment of the policy in Srebrenica and the RS” which has the goal of “the complete elimination of Bosniaks from political life.”

They called on the international community and the High Representative in Bosnia, tasked with overseeing the civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, to “stop the illegal activities of the RS Government in Srebrenica.

They also urged Serb ethnic political parties in the town to “return to the framework of the law and the Srebrenica Municipality Statute” and to “the dialogue with Bosniaks and an agreement that will define relations through changes to the Municipal Statute, which will ultimately contribute to the stabilization and progress of Srebrenica.”

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