Lawmakers in Republika Srpska, the Serb-majority entity that makes up part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, have passed a new law which potentially undermines the country’s constitution.
The Law on Medical Equipment and Drugs -- adopted by the National Assembly of the Republika Srpska on October 20 -- foresees the formation of the region’s Agency for Medical Equipment and Drugs as an “independent administrative organization” with the “status of a legal entity.”
The new body would essentially take over the powers and responsibilities of the country’s Agency for Medical Equipment and Drugs, a federal agency created in 2009. Bosnia-Herzegovina as a state consists of two entities formed after the 1992-95 war -- the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina with mostly Muslims and Croats and Republika Srpska with mostly Bosnian Serbs. The constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina bars any of the country’s two entities from creating an agency that undermines federal bodies. The parliament’s move comes as federal prosecutors launched a probe of Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik for "undermining the constitutional order" after he announced that Republika Srpska will soon pull out of the country’s joint military, its top judiciary body, and tax administration. He said several expert groups have been working on drafting the Serb entity’s new constitution and laws on defense, judiciary, and finances. Dodik has repeatedly called for the secession of Bosnian Serb lands from the rest of Bosnia, which he labeled an "experiment by the international community" and an "impossible, imposed country."