The leader of Bosnia’s Serbs has said he got tired of local authorities not doing their job
Republika Srpska president Milorad Dodik picked up a scythe and did some landscaping on the side of the road in the regional capital Banja Luka on Thursday, in a dig at the opposition party that runs the city.
“I’ve already appealed to the relevant officials to get this space tidy, clean and landscaped. Since I believe they’re taking a leisurely vacation, I decided to mow it myself,” Dodik tweeted on Thursday afternoon. “This is the last time I’ll do their job.”
A minute-long video recorded by one of his aides showed the Bosnian Serb leader in his shirtsleeves, wielding an old-fashioned scythe to clear the highway median of overgrown weeds that were posing a traffic hazard by obstructing visibility.
As Dodik swung the scythe, drivers slowed down, honked in recognition, and even stopped to gawk at the president doing the work of local maintenance crews.
Већ сам интервенисао код надлежних да овај простор буде уредан, чист и покошен. Пошто вјерујем да се они угодно одмарају, одлучио сам да све сам покосим!Ово је посљедњи пут да радим њихов посао. pic.twitter.com/ueU91SFC5E
— Милорад Додик (@MiloradDodik) June 29, 2023
The 64-year-old former basketball player made relatively quick work of the neglected median, tweeting “job’s finished” about an hour later, with photographic proof.
The landscaping stunt was a dig at the Banja Luka local authorities, headed by the 30-year-old mayor Drasko Stanivukovic of the Party of Democratic Progress. Dodik chairs the Union of Independent Social-Democrats, which commands the majority in the Srpska parliament.
Dodik is currently in his third term as president of Republika Srpska, the Serb half of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The US-brokered Dayton Accords ended the civil war in 1995 by partitioning the country between Srpska and the Federation, run by the Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) and Croats. Between 2018 and 2022, Dodik was the Serb representative in the country’s three-member Presidency.
US and EU officials overseeing Bosnia have accused Dodik of undermining the Dayton Accords and wanting to secede. The Bosnian Serb leader has countered that he is only trying to protect the rights actually guaranteed by the peace treaty from the constant encroachment of Western “reformers.”
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