Text of report by D.K entitled "Kostunica instructed Cavic that SDS should vote against police reform" published by the Bosnian Serb newspaper Nezavisne novine on 1 June
Sarajevo: Western diplomats believe that the authorities in Belgrade swayed the [Bosnian] Serb Republic People's Assembly, above all the [ruling] Serb Democratic Party [SDS], into rejecting the Bosnia-Hercegovina [B-H] police reform proposal.
An unnamed senior Western diplomat told Nezavisne novine that an unstable political situation in B-H suited the Belgrade authorities, who are eager to strengthen their position prior to negotiations on the final status of Kosovo.
The source said it was no secret that Dragan Cavic, leader of the Serb Democratic Party, had visited Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica on 14 May and that, during the meeting, he had been instructed on what stand should be taken on the police reform issue.
"Immediately after this meeting and the instructions he received from Kostunica, Cavic made a sudden, radical turnabout in his position on police reform from what was stated during the Vlasic talks. He then informed the public of this reversal urged by Kostunica in an interview with a Belgrade daily newspaper. What is more, Cavic's interview with the daily was arranged by Kostunica's office," the diplomat said.
In an interview published by Belgrade's Vecernje novosti on 15 May, Cavic said that the SDS would not and could not accept the police reform proposal. He added that this would lead to "chaos" whether police reform was accepted or not.
"The situation is dramatic. This may be a portent of a great explosion, whose consequences I cannot predict, because many people laid down their lives for the Serb Republic. I am willing to do whatever is needed, but I will not sacrifice the Serb Republic," Cavic said.
Asked what would happen if the police reform were rejected, he said: "That would lead to chaos. Many officials would have to leave the political scene; the government might also have to step down. The situation is dramatic. This may be a portent of a great explosion. Sanctions can also be expected. That is the only thing I am absolutely certain about. If sanctions are not imposed, it would be a precedent; I would be surprised. Well, let them impose sanctions. Everything is possible. We can also expect that politically motivated charges will be filed, even against me."
Source: Nezavisne novine, Banja Luka, in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian 1 Jun 05 p 3