International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Top Bosnian Serb officials reject ECHR verdict questioning BiH elections

August 30, 2023

Both BiH Presidency member Zeljka Cvijanovic and Republika Srpska (RS) entity President Milorad Dodik rejected the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) verdict “Kovacevic v BiH” verdict on Tuesday, by saying it will never be implemented.

“There have been several decisions of the European Court of Human Rights that are definitely an attack on the constitutional setting within BiH, so is the case with this last one as well. And this decision was made with the aim of cancelling the balance that was created when the Dayton [Peace] Agreement was created and on the basis of which we lived in peace for so many years, with a great political misunderstanding, of course,” said Cvijanovic.

Cvijanović pointed out that there are three institutes that are persistently working on the expropriation of the RS and on the obstruction of the functioning of BiH as provided by the Constitution.

“It is the Office of the High Representative and all the high representatives who paraded here. Then, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which, with the support of three foreign judges and two from the Bosniak people, is persistently working to pass verdicts that are contrary to the constitutional matrix that guaranteed us that peace,” she said, adding that the third institute is the ECHR.

The BiH Presidency member said that she does not believe that this decision will ever be implemented, but that the Court in Strasbourg intends to accumulate various verdicts in order to one day exert pressure on how they must be implemented.

The President of the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska (RS) entity Milorad Dodik said that the goal of the European Court of Human Rights’ verdict is to deal with the constituency of the people and reject and collapse the elements of the Dayton Agreement and the Constitution.

“The things that are undermining BiH have contributed to such a thing. I think they are not even aware that BiH is creating a bigger problem on the European path and they are stopping it in processes related to development opportunities,” he said.

The RS President added that the verdict goes beyond the scope of the European Convention and permanently divides Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“BiH cannot survive as a country based on the civic principle. Neither could Yugoslavia do that, nor any other country in this area, neither Belgium nor Switzerland can do that today,” he said.

Dodik said that the RS was not surprised by the Court's ruling, and announced that he would initiate a session of the RS National Assembly as soon as possible, at which it would be proposed to reject this decision.

Both Cvijanovic and Dodik are members of the ethnic-oriented Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) which is the ruling party both at the RS and BiH level.

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/top-bosnian-serb-officials-reject-echr-verdict-questioning-bih-elections/

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