Serbs vote to leave key institutions in secession move

by Cristian Florescu

Lawmakers have voted to start work on pulling their autonomous Serb Republic out of Bosnia’s armed forces, judiciary and tax system. The decision sparked warnings from the international community about a new conflict, write

The parliament of the Serb part of Bosnia-Herzegovina decided Friday to transfer powers away from the country’s central institutions. The approval by the regional legislature of Republika Srpska (RS) comes in spite of warnings against such a move from the international community and an opposition boycott.

MPs voted to strip the Bosnian state of competencies in the areas of taxation, justice, and security and defence for the RS region. The three institutions represent key pillars of joint security, the rule of law and the economic system in Bosnia, which was divided into two autonomous regions after its 1992-1995 war. The proposal won a clear majority with 49 votes in favour in the 83-seat chamber.

The vote amounted to a non-binding agreement that fell short of a final decision to quit the institutions — a move that would have needed the support of the region’s upper house.

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