After extraordinary session (17.02), Republika Srpska’s parliament instructed its representatives in state institutions to halt any decision-making processes until the adoption and implementation of a law that would remove foreign judges from the Constitutional Court of BiH and reject any “undemocratic” and unconstitutional decisions by the Court and Bosnia’s international administrator.
This move is leading BiH into a new political crisis.
BiH’s international administrator Valentin Inzko made a statement in this regard that eventual secession of RS from BiH would represent a red line which if crossed will lead to use of Bonn powers. He expressed his belief that there would be no referendum for secession of RS but even if such is held, it would be legally void.
“We’ll insist on respect for the Dayton Peace Agreement that guarantees BiH’s sovereignty and integrity and defines the country’ Constitution. According to the Dayton Agreement, the entities don’t have the right to secede”, stated the Office of the High Representative (OHR), which oversees the civilian implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement.
“Secession would cross the red line. Entity borders are no more than the lines between counties in Croatia and provinces in Germany. All that is part of Bosnia which continued its territorial sovereignty and we must not forget that BiH was accepted into the UN as a united country in 1992, together with Slovenia and Croatia. Only the internal borders were changed by the Dayton Accords”, Inzko explained.
Speaking about the RS officials’ request to remove foreign judges from BiH’s Constitutional Court, who serve the balancing role within the Court by preventing any of the three constituent peoples from being out-voted by other two peoples, Inzko recalled that they are part of the “original Dayton” which was signed by all the parties.
The notion of the “original Dayton” was first introduced by Dodik himself, who claims that reforms which were implemented after the signing of the Agreement and whose goal was to make Bosnia into a more functional state, were enforced onto the Serb entity with the aim of making it weaker.
If the foreign judges ever were removed, it would change the balance of powers in the Court and that would require a change of the Dayton Peace Agreement. It would lead to the ‘Dayton 2’”, Inzko added, hinting at another notion Dodik is against.
Meanwhile, EUFOR stated that it is carefully monitoring the situation in the country and recent events have not threatened peace and stability in the region.
“Resolution 2496 (2019) of the UN Security Council, adopted on November 5, 2019, extended the executive mandate of EUFOR for the next 12 months. The resolution also affirms that any amendment to the Constitution must be made in accordance with the procedure for amending the Constitution set out in the text of the Constitution”, EUFOR noted. This confirms that EUFOR have a mandate and the exclusive responsibility to provide support to BiH’s state authorities in maintaining a safe and stable environment.