Bosnian Constitutional Court temporarily bans Serb entity referendum

The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday dismissed a motion by the Serb entity's government that the Court reconsider its decision to contest the entity's decision to observe January 9 as its day, and temporarily banned a referendum which the entity plans to hold on September 25.

Republika Srpska (RS) authorities did not submit any new facts which might result in a change of the decision the Constitutional Court made in November 2015, so the Court dismissed the motion for reconsidering it, the Court said in a press release.

The Court also granted a motion by Bosniak state officials for a temporary ban of the September 25 referendum on the Court's November 2015 decision until a final decision is made on the demands that have been made. The Court said the temporary ban was made to ensure the implementation of that decision and to prevent the undermining of the constitutional order.

RS President Milorad Dodik said the temporary ban would not stop the referendum and that only the entity parliament could do that. "The National Assembly won't convene on that matter and we will hold the referendum."

The Bosnian Presidency's Bosniak member, Bakir Izetbegovic, said he expected the RS authorities to scrap the referendum as, after the temporary ban, organising it would constitute a violation of the Dayton peace agreement and the crime of opposing Constitutional Court decisions.

If RS goes ahead with the referendum, the Constitutional Court can ask the State Prosecutor's Office to prosecute those responsible for opposing its decisions.

Last update: Sat, 17/09/2016 - 21:34

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