Milorad Dodik, the secessionist leader of Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Republika Srpska, said he sees himself as the first president of independent Republika Srpska in 2030, sparking a fresh political scandal in the highly unstable country.
Bosnia comprises two autonomous entities – the Muslim-Croat Federation and Republika Srpska. Each of them has its own institutions and there are also state-level bodies.
Dodik was sanctioned by the US and UK for his secessionist politics but has taken more active steps towards breaking ties with the state-level institutions.
In an interview for the K3 TV channel, Dodik said Republika Srpska will secede from Bosnia in the coming years.
“I shall be in my first mandate as president of independent Republika Srpska,” Dodik said when asked where he sees himself in seven years.
He also accused politicians from the Federation of lying and being unreliable, saying that the Serbs cannot reach an agreement with them.
In response, the Federation’s Interior Minister Ramo Isak said that after seven years Dodik will celebrate his 71st birthday as a citizen of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Klix.ba reported.
“It is certain that Milorad Dodik will turn 71 years in seven years and that his 71st birthday he will celebrate as a citizen of Bosnia & Herzegovina. It is certain also that the Republika Srpska entity will remain an administrative-territorial unit within the state of Bosnia & Herzegovina,” Isak said.
“What is not certain is the location on which the Bosnia & Herzegovina’s citizen Milorad Dodik will celebrate his 71st birthday, whether this will be Bosnia & Herzegovina’s city of Banja Luka [Republika Srpska’s administrative centre], the capital of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Sarajevo, or the state prison of Bosnia & Herzegovina, or some other state prison that will be built in the next seven years,” he added.
He also said that unlike Dodik, Bosnia & Herzegovina will continue to exist.