Opposition parties from the Alliance for Change coalition in Bosnia’s Serb-dominated Republika Srpska entity signed an agreement to co-operate in a bid to defeat President Milorad Dodik’s party at polls in October.
Three major Bosnian Serb opposition parties, along with six other political groups, joined forces on Monday in an attempt to defeat the coalition centred around Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik’s Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, SNSD, which has been in power in the entity for 12 years.
The three parties involved - the Serb Democratic Party, SDS, the Party of Democratic Progress, PDP, and the National Democratic Movement, NDP - failed to beat the SNSD at the entity level at the last general elections four years ago. But despite their defeat, they managed to reach a deal with the largest Bosniak political party, the Party of Democratic Action, SDA, and formed a state-level government.
Monday’s agreement confirmed that SDS leader Vukota Govedarica will run for the Republika Srpska president’s office against current RS prime minister Zeljka Cvijanovic of the SNSD in the October 7 polls.
Mladen Ivanic, the Serb member of the Bosnian tripartite presidency and a member of the Alliance for Change coalition, will try to get re-elected. Current RS President Dodik is also set to run for the state presidency.
Ivanic said that RS needs a normal life, better prospects for youth, development and security.
"We are offering a stable and secure perspective for the citizens of RS. This is not our battle but the struggle of people in RS for their own dignity and a normal life, and we will certainly win this battle," Ivanic told media on Monday.
Govedarica said the opposition intends to combat “poverty, corruption, the outflow of young people from RS”.
“People in RS have overcome fear and are determined to follow us,” Govedarica added.
The signing of the coalition agreement between the opposition parties was postponed for several weeks due because of the NDP’s dissatisfaction about the allocation of candidacies. However it was finally agreed agreed that if the Alliance wins, the NDP will either get the position of RS Prime Minister or the speaker role in the entity's National Assembly.
At the signing of the cooperation agreement, the Alliance for Change also presented its election slogan - "RS Victory Day".