The President of Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity, Zeljka Cvijanovic, said that the opposition in the entity created a “chaotic” situation following the elections by submitting requests which led to an “illegal” decision by the Central Election Commission (CEC) to organise a recount of the ballots.
The CEC had ordered a recount of the October 2 ballots in the race for the post of the next president of the RS entity due to “numerous irregularities”. Eventually, the CEC determined that Milorad Dodik, the leader of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), won the election.
Opposition parties have organised a series of protests, arguing that their candidate, Jelena Trivic, won the election.
“What was problematic for us is that the requests that were made essentially led to illegal decisions of the Central Election Commission on recounting the ballots, to which we reacted,” said Cvijanovic, who is the vice president of the SNSD.
Cvijanovic argued that the request by the opposition and the decision of the CEC led to a “chaotic” post-election situation.
“I expect that we will now enter a more peaceful phase in which the Republika Srpska will very soon form the government and make important decisions for our citizens,” she said.
According to her, the election process can not be brought into question, as there were only minor irregularities.
“Certain polling stations had errors, but nothing more than that. There is not a single real indication that there was any fraud that enabled one candidate to win and the other to lose. For me, it is important that the omissions are identified, but also that those responsible for them are sanctioned. Everything else is in the domain of the will of the people, which was recognised,” she told Vecernji list.
Cvijanovic said that the president of neighbouring Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, respects the agreement of all three constituent peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“He showed that more than once, but he also emphasized that he has special emotions towards Republika Srpska, which is quite understandable. All interventions by the Government of Serbia were aimed at achieving a better life here and contributing to what we do here,” she said.
She also strongly criticised the United States, saying it is trying to “eliminate” Dodik from the political scene “because they consider him a Russian player, which is especially dangerous now in the time of crisis in Ukraine”.
“On two occasions, Milorad Dodik was put on the list of those sanctioned by the USA, and when you see the explanation, you cannot fathom that it says “obstruction of the Dayton Agreement”, while he is the one who fights most strongly for Dayton. He opposes its deviations. As for Dodik himself, he is first and foremost a man of Republika Srpska,” she said.
Cvijanovic praised Dodik’s policy of trying to maintain neutrality, arguing that he “showed that we should cooperate with everyone in the world, because we who are so small, who are not really asked about anything, should not choose the side of friends and enemies.”
“For me, enemies are only those who want to cancel your identity and make it impossible to enjoy the rights given to you by the Constitution,” she said.