Bosnian Serbs Want to Vote in Serbian Poll

resizer30Milorad Dodik, prime minister of Bosnia’s Serb-dominated entity of Republika Srpska, has told Serbian media that Bosnian Serbs are hoping to play an active role in Serbia’s next parliamentary elections.

“We are not seeking integration that would mean major participation in Serbia’s political life, but we’d like for our people here to be able to elect two to three MPs in the Serbian parliament,” Dodik told Serbian reporters in Republika Srpska’s main city, Banja Luka.

Dodik justified his request, claiming that most Bosnian Croats hold Croatian citizenship and are taking part in Croatia’s national elections.

As Bosnian Croats have the right to dual citizenship, Bosnian Serbs also have the right to hold both Bosnian and Serbian citizenship; however, the process can take up to two years, Dodik claimed.

The Bosnian Serb leader said his request was not a new one, but that nothing had been finalized with Serbian officials.

For their part, Serbian officials have mixed feelings.

While nationalist parties in Serbia have supported Dodik’s proposal, saying that Serbia should play an effective role in protecting Bosnian Serb interests, democratic parties disagree.

Some experts believe that Dodik’s proposal is tactical: He is seeking to preserve Republika Srpska’s autonomy and thwart international community attempts to centralize the country at the expense of the entities.

Currently, Bosnia and Herzegovina is home to a multi-ethnic community comprised of the Bosniak- (Bosniam Muslim) and Bosnian Croat-dominated Federation entity and the Bosnian Serb-dominated Republika Srpska.

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