The Serb Democratic Party, SDS, chose Bosic to lead the party for another four years at its party congress on Sunday in Banja Luka.
“We have to show that we have courage and that we can start the fight against corruption and crime which was carried out under the auspices of the political leadership of the current government in the [Serb-dominated entity of] Republika Srpska,” Bosic said in his address to the SDS congress.
“Changes are necessary and we will try to get even stronger through the selection of the new leadership,” he added.
In the last general elections, the SDS came close to defeating the entity’s ruling Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, SNSD.
An SDS-led block of opposition parties won the Serb position in Bosnia’s tripartite presidency and significantly strengthened its positions in the state parliament and the National Assembly of Republika Srpska, RS.
SNSD leader Milorad Dodik narrowly defeated SDS candidate Ognjen Tadic in the race for the presidency of RS, and the SNSD only managed to establish a ruling coalition in RS by buying off two MPs from opposing parties – a public scandal which is still shaking RS and is being investigated by the judiciary.
Meanwhile, the SDS-led block of Serb parties joined the main Bosniak and Croat parties in the ruling coalition at state level. In the past few years, the SDS has supported moderate positions and economic and social reforms, especially those required for the country’s EU integration process.
This represents a huge change for the SDS, which was founded by the Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic in 1990, but since has gone through a series of democratic reforms.
The SDS was also the only party out of four main Bosnian parties which elected leaders in recent months to have a challenger for the position.
The SNSD, as well as the main Croat and leading opposition Bosniak party – the Croat Democratic Union, HDZ and Union for Better Future, SBB – re-elected their incumbent leaders, Milorad Dodik, Dragan Covic and Fahrudin Radoncic, without any challenge for the position.
At Sunday’s congress, Bosic defeated the popular mayor of north-eastern town of Bijeljina, Mico Micic, by a margin of 266 to 167 votes.
A source close to the party told Balkan Insight that under Bosic’s continued leadership, the SDS is expected to increase its pressure on the ruling SNSD, which finds itself in increasingly volatile situation.
Last week two MPs in the RS National Assembly from the Party of Advance RS, Adam Sukalo and Goran Djordjic – who were a part of the SNSD-led block – announced they were withdrawing from the ruling coalition until the RS authorities announce the findings of an investigation into the audio tape of an alleged conversation between RS Premier Zeljka Cvijanovic and her staff about buying off MPs from other parties.
Without these two votes, the SNSD-led block’s margin in the RS National Assembly has been reduced to only one vote.
A number of senior SNSD officials – including several MPs in the RS National Assembly – have recently criticised their leader Dodik and his team.
The desertion of only one SNSD MP would topple the ruling coalition and the RS government and force Dodik to either try to build a new ruling coalition or call for early elections in the entity, RS officials told Balkan Insight under condition of anonymity.
Par: Srecko Latal