Igor Radojicic, a popular figure in the main Bosnian Serb party, the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, SNSD, is close to resigning – or being kicked out – from the party, which could undermine the political stability of Republika Srpska, a party source told Balkan Insight.
Radojicic is a deputy in the Republika Srpska assembly, is the vice-president of SNSD and heads its Banja Luka branch – the biggest and most important party branch.
His departure from the SNSD – particularly if he is followed by some of his supporters – could leave the entity government without its narrow majority in the assembly and therefore force its reorganisation.
Tensions between Radojicic and Republika Srpska President and SNSD chief Milorad Dodik have continued since last October's elections, after Radojicic criticised Dodik’s selection of candidates for key positions and what he claimed was corruption in the Republika Srpska leadership.
The spat escalated last weekend after Radojicic failed to appear - despite Dodik’s repeated pleas - at a party workshop in the town of Teslic, where the SNSD leadership was due to prepare for the upcoming party congress, the SNSD source told Balkan Insight.
The SNSD congress has been scheduled for April 26, when a new party leadership will be elected. Many believe the election of the new leadership is fuelling tensions between Dodik and Radojicic.
During the workshop on Sunday, Dodik lashed out against Radojicic and ordered other senior party officials to cease communicating with him.
Later on Sunday, SNSD sources and some media reported that Radojicic had resigned as head of SNSD’s Banja Luka branch. This information could not be independently verified.
“The atmosphere during the workshop was dreadful. We have obviously reached the lowest point,” the SNSD official said.
Media reports said that Dodik was preparing a countermove and could soon use his executive powers to dismiss Radojicic from the party altogether.
“It seems that within the SNSD leadership, all the gloves have come off,” Banja Luka-based journalist Gordana Katana told Balkan Insight.
“The million-dollar question is whether, and how many, others will follow Radojicic and whether the RS government will collapse over this or not,” she added.