Member of Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina Milorad Dodik said on Saturday that the international community and the Bosniak political elite need to understand that it is not possible for Serbs to accept March 1 as a BiH holiday for political, historical and other reasons.
“We must not give up the story, because these are difficult historical topics and March 1 cannot be a holiday of BiH if Republika Srpska wants to be in it,” Dodik told reporters, Vijesti.ba news portal writes.
He noted that March 1 cannot be everyone’s holiday, since it was proclaimed only by the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and never by any Bosnian authority that does not even have a law on holidays.
“The international community imposes it to attend, and even the Constitutional Court, which finds it appropriate to say that January 9th is not Republic Day, which is difficult to dispute,” Dodik added.
“They have to understand that it is impossible for us Serbs to accept March 1 for political, historical and other reasons,” Dodik said.
Independence Day is a national holiday which is celebrated on the 1st of March every year, and it is celebrating the independence of BiH from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
The referendum for the independence of BiH was held on the recommendation of the Arbitration Commission of the International Conference on Yugoslavia, in the final stages of dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. It was held on the 29th of February and the 1st of March, and it marked opting of citizens on the future of the country, but it was also introduction to a bloody war.
Adult citizens of the Socialist Republic of BiH voted on independence of BiH in the referendum in which the only question was: Are you for a sovereign and independent BiH, a state of equal citizens, peoples of BiH – Muslims, Serbs, Croats and members of other nations who live in it?
Independence Day of BiH is on March 1st and it is celebrated one day.
Citizens of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina voted for the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the referendum that was held between 29 February and 1 March 1992. The referendum question was: “Are you in favor of a sovereign and independent Bosnia-Herzegovina, a state of equal citizens and nations of Bosniaks, Serbs, Croats and others who live in it?” Independence was strongly favoured by Bosniaks and Bosnian Croat voters, while Bosnian Serbs (except for those in larger cities) boycotted it or were prevented from participating by Bosnian Serb authorities. The total turnout of voters was 63.6% of which 99.7% voted for the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The results of the referendum were accepted on 6 March by the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On 7 April 1992, the European Community recognized Bosnia and Herzegovina as an independent state. The Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the parliament of the Bosnian-Croat Federation) then made the decision on 28 February 1995 that 1 March be the Independence Day of Bosnia and Herzegovina and a national holiday. Two days later, on 1 March 1995, Independence Day was celebrated for the first time.
The Independence Day of Bosnia and Herzegovina is celebrated only in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while Republika Srpska boycotts this holiday and celebrates its own Independence Day on 9 January. Milorad Dodik, former President of Republika Srpska, has claimed that Independence Day “is a holiday of the Bosnian people and we do not dispute it, but it is not a holiday celebrated in the RS”.