West again urges Bosnian Serb entity to cancel referendum

The Peace Implementation Council Steering Board (PIC SB) on Tuesday once again warned that the decisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina's (BiH) Constitutional Court must be respected and that a referendum on Republika Srpska (RS) Day scheduled for September 25 was against the constitution and the law.

Ambassadors of Western countries making up the PIC SB said there was no legal basis for voting on whether January 9 would continue to be marked as the day of the Bosnian Serb entity, which the Constitutional Court rule was unconstitutional.

"We once again urge the RS authorities not to hold the referendum," the ambassadors said in a statement, adding that "no referendum can change the final and binding nature of decisions of the BiH Constitutional Court," including the one of September 17 banning the September 25 referendum.

"The decision of the BiH Constitutional Court will remain fully in force and must be respected," the statement said.

The ambassadors did not mention possible consequences of anti-constitutional conduct, but "encourage the resolution of the issue of public holidays through political dialogue and the early adoption of appropriate legislative changes to implement the November 2015 decision of the court" which found that January 9 was an unconstitutional holiday.

The PIC SB "calls upon all parties to refrain from reactive measures and divisive rhetoric (and) strongly condemns statements from anyone that undermine stability and security, or which challenge the territorial integrity of BiH."

"Republika Srpska will remain an integral and essential part of the sovereign state of BiH, in line with the General Framework Agreement for Peace (and) there will be no redrawing of the map of BiH," said the statement which the Russian Federation, a member of the PIC, did not join.

Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic said in New York today that the planned referendum was in contravention with the Dayton peace accords and that she hoped it would not be held.

She said Croatia supported the sovereignty and territorial integrity of BiH as a country of three constitutional peoples, one of which are Croats.

Last update: Tue, 20/09/2016 - 22:47
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