The relationship between the mayor of Banja Luka, Drasko Stanivukovic, and the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) member, Milorad Dodik, was extremely turbulent in the past, but according to their behavior, it seems that their relationship has sailed into a calmer harbor of warm greetings and whispers.
Drasko Stanivukovic and Milorad Dodik spoke two days ago at the opening of the construction of a bridge in the Banja Luka settlement of Cesma. The construction of this bridge worth 6.6 million BAM is certainly a positive thing for the people of Banja Luka, but what is interesting is the cooperation and joint appearance of Stanivukovic and Dodik, which was once difficult to imagine.
Dodik was particularly dissatisfied after the local elections in 2020 when Stanivukovic defeated SNSD candidate Igor Radojcic and then in his manner threatened to punish the citizens of Banja Luka.
”The dirty campaign on their part has polluted relations to such an extent that none of the mayor’s proposals will be supported, even if he is Einstein,” Dodik said then, but the threats did not end there, so he added:
”I think it is important that we speak clearly. He has his responsibilities and represents the city, let him show off and work. He said that students and pensioners will get free city transport. Let him propose, and we will support it, but let’s see how he will finance it. How will they finance the city heating that we subsidized every year? Why would Republika Srpska (RS) do it? We have other municipalities that need help. We will stop all investments from the RS level.”
However, Dodik forgot his words, and this was also said by Stanivukovic at the opening of the bridge when he offered that the RS Government finances the bridge in Banja Luka.
”The moment when Mr. Vucic became an honorary citizen of Banja Luka a year and a half ago, he came to visit our city, and at that meeting, we were in this composition. We were sitting and Mr. Vucic said, I have become an honorary citizen and I want to do something extra for this city. And I immediately say the bridge in Cesma, and then Mr. Dodik says ‘you won’t, I want the Government to do it, and you choose something else‘,”Stanivukovic said.
Although it is a positive thing that Dodik still decided that even the citizens who did not vote for SNSD would benefit from the Government of this party, there are also noticeable changes on a personal level between Stanivukovic and Dodik.
Thus, in 2019, a conflict took place between Dodik and Stanivukovic in the parliamentary restaurant, and Stanivukovic claimed that on that occasion Dodik cursed his mother. Their relationship was full of various accusations, and Stanivukovic often spoke about the crime and corruption of Milorad Dodik, his family members, and party colleagues.
After being elected mayor of Banja Luka, Stanivukovic stated that he would not shake Milorad Dodik’s hand if he met him on the street because there was no need for it.
In the end, the videos from the opening of the bridge two days ago show that the relations between Dodik and Stanivukovic have entered a calmer phase, and only time will tell if there are some political agreements behind it all, Klix.ba reports.