Dodik: Referendum will not be delayed

BANJALUKA – Srpska President Milorad Dodik told the ambassadors of France, Italy and Great Britain to BiH, deputy head of the EU Delegation to BiH, deputy German ambassador, and head of the US Embassy Banjaluka Office on Thursday that the referendum on the issue of Republika Srpska Day will be held.
“When the ambassadors asked under what conditions Republika Srpska could postpone the referendum, we said there would be no delays,” Dodik pointed out.

The referendum cannot be postponed because it is used to apply the decision of the Bosnia and Herzegovina /BiH/ Constitutional Court, he said.

“The Constitutional Court did not abolish January 9, which they are trying to impose. It rather prescribed that the relevant Article of the law be adjusted in accordance with the rights of the constitutive peoples,” said Dodik.

After the meeting in Banjaluka, Dodik told the press that Republika Srpska would not give up on the referendum and once again called on the people to go out to the polls on September 25 and confirm that January 9 remains Srpska Day.

“We think it is important that we ask the people whether January 9 is the Republika Srpska Day, which is the main question of the referendum,” said the president.

Commenting on whether the Bosniaks will have to respect Srpska Day, Dodik said they would be able to decide themselves through the implementation of the Constitutional Court decision.

He underlined that no one will force the Bosniaks to mark January 9, asserting that no one can forbid Republika Srpska from celebrating that day.

“All technical preparations for holding the referendum are done and it will be held on September 25. In that respect, the decision will be executed,” said Dodik.

The meeting with the ambassadors and other representatives in BiH was all right and there were no threats or blackmails, he said.

Commenting on a statement by Bakir Izetbegovic, the Bosniak member of the BiH Presidency, that the state Constitutional Court will ban the referendum, Dodik reiterated that the court was a political institution because it was under the influence of the Bosniaks and politicians who had made key decisions.

“Such influence is imposed on us as binding. There can be no progress until the Constitutional Court is restructured and a new law passed about the institution which operates by the rules imposed by the foreigners and some others,” said Dodik, adding that the foreign judges should leave the BiH Constitutional Court.

He recalled that the BiH Court too was formed bypassing the Constitution and that foreigners used to work for it.

“It’s time for the foreign judges to withdraw since their behaviour goes beyond the legal logic and Constitution. The majority of them have violated the BiH Constitution since they tried to cover for a series of decisions with abstract theoretical deliberations,” said Dodik, adding that the BiH Constitutions envisaged neither the Court nor the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH.

The measures taken before by the High Representative in BiH are now implemented through the BiH Constitutional Court, claiming it is mandatory, he said.

“Izetbegovic undoubtedly has a stake in all this. Mirsad Ceman, the President of the BiH Constitutional Court, was the leader of the Party of Democratic Action during the war when Alija Izetbegovic froze his status in the SDA, while Seada Paravlic, a judge of the Court, was the SDA vice-president, so the political connotations of all the decisions are obvious,” Dodik asserted.

He concluded that no one should expect Republika Srpska or the Serbs to execute the war-time objectives of the SDA, Ceman or Paravlic, which are backed by the three foreign judges.