Numerous supporters of the political opposition in Republika Srpska, Bosnia's Serb-majority entity, gathered on Thursday in the northern city of Banja Luka, to show support to the opposition political parties and candidates in the general elections held last week, who claim that they have been robbed and demand the election recount.
A day before, the leaders reported irregularities and vote rigging to the Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina, demanding that the voting for the post of Republika Srpska President is annulled.
Borislav Borenovic, the PDP party leader, who addressed the citizens at the central Krajina square, said there was a pressure to call off the gathering but that the police did not succumb to it.
“We took the responsibility to walk the streets of Banja Luka in a peaceful and dignified manner,” he said.
If necessary, the leader stressed, they will go to Sarajevo and protest in front of the Central Election Commission's building to have their demands met.
He thanked all those who attended the gathering.
Jelena Trivic, the candidate for the post of Republika Srpska President, said she will not give up on the battle to prove that she was robbed in the election.
“I have no right to be tired, I have no right to give up, I have no right to step back and I won't do that,” she told the crowd.
Trivic called the protest a “type of constitutional fight” and thanked all those who showed the support, telling them they are “bolder than us and we must not lose this battle because of you, and if we abandon it there is no turning back.”
She also conveyed a message to her opponent, Milorad Dodik, whom the opposition accuses of the vote rigging.
“You thought you could steal (the votes) just like that and move on as always. Well, not this time.”
Before they reached the central square, the crowd shouted ‘Mile, the thief’, referring to the SNSD candidate Dodik.
No incidents have been reported during the gathering.
According to organisers, many citizens arriving from other parts of Republika Srpska were unable to reach the location as the buses were undergoing controls.