99.81 Pct Of Bosnian Serbs Vote in Favor of Controversial Holiday

Milorad Dodik, President of Republika Srpska is pictured on an election poster calling for votes for a referendum on their Statehood Day in Prnjavor, Bosnia and Herzegovina, September 21, 2016. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

BANJALUKA – According to unofficial final results, 99.81 pct of voters in the Republika Srpska (RS) referendum voted in favour of keeping January 9 as the Republika Srpska Day, the commission in charge of conducting the referendum announced Monday.

It said 1,291 citizens had voted against. Commission President Sinisa Karan said 680,116 – or 55.77 pct – of the 1,219,399 eligible voters had cast their ballots.

The final report will be tabled to the Republika Srpska assembly for adoption.

There were no procedural complaints and it can be said the referendum was backed by the citizens, Karan said.

Republika Srpska is one of the two autonomous entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while the other is the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Their relations are largely affected by the civil war among Serbs, Bosnian Muslims and Croatians in 1992-1995.

Republika Srpska does not agree to celebrate the national day of Bosnia and Herzegovina on March 1, for on that day in 1992 the Bosnian parliament proclaimed the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina without the presence of Bosnian Serbs. Republika Srpska proposed a different date for its own national holiday, January 9, which is a Serbian Orthodox Christian holiday and the anniversary of Bosnian Serbs declaring independence in 1992.

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