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    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

    Dodik Could Pose 'Vocal Threat of Secession' in BiH - Lecturer

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    On Sunday, after 85 percent of all ballots were counted, Milorad Dodik claimed victory as the Serbian member of Bosnia-Herzegovina's three-seat inter-ethnic presidency. Official results from the election gave Dodik 56 percent of the vote and his main opponent, Mladen Ivanic, 42 percent. The projections were made with 44 percent of ballots counted.

    Looking at these results and what Dodik’s appointment will mean for Bosnia, Sputnik spoke to Dr Neven Andjelic, Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Human Rights at Regent’s University in London.

    Sputnik: Firstly, can you describe the significance of Dodrick’s victory, both for his party and Bosnian Serbs?

    Dr Neven Andjelic: it is a very significant for Dodik and his political party because of his affiliation with the neighbouring Serbia, and he recently visited Russia’s president in Sochi.

    I think this helped him because of the supposed anti-western feelings amongst some of the Serbs in Bosnia and amongst some of the Serbs in general.

    However, let’s not forget that Dodik came onto the political scene in Bosnia as a darling of the west, so he shifted his policies already once and I don’t think we can make a firm judgement in four years’ time that he will stay where his position is now.

    Sputnik: What effect do you think this will have on the country’s unity?

    Dr Neven Andjelic: I think it should be clear that there will be no changes with regards to the Dayton Agreement, as long as America doesn’t want to produce any changes; and the global geopolitics has changed since 1990 when the Dayton Accords was introduced and Bosnia-Herzegovina as a political model.

    Russia and China are a lot more vocal than in the 1990s and the US is less interested in foreign affairs under the Trump administration.

    It means Bosnia remains as it is and Dodik might provide some vocal threat of secession but nothing is going to happen and the problem is the country will stagnate, because no proper change is possible without changes to the Dayton peace agreement.

    Sputnik: What effect will have internationally between nations?

    Dr Neven Andjelic: I think this is just one of the examples. We do witness global confrontation, no violence luckily, between different political models.

    One would be this authoritarian political model, a model of illiberal democracy we see in countries like Turkey and gaining popularity in some EU states. Now Dodrick with his victory could fit into this group of political ideologies.

    The liberal democracy is significantly challenged. In nearby Hungary we have a political regime that is officially a liberal democracy, but in its nature it is more similar to political regime in Turkey. Dodik’s regime will be more similar to this.

    Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Dr Neven Andjelic and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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