Interview: Predrag Radic, Presidential Candidate: I Won’t Keep Quiet
29 June 1996
The Democratic Patriot Block (DPB) in the Bosnian Serb Republic (RS) was the first to show its hand. The coalition of five parties - listed as a center block - will nominate candidate Mladen Ivancic (head of the Serb Intellectual Forum) for Bosnian presidency member and Banja Luka Mayor Predrag Radic for RS president. Ljubisa Savic Mauzer, commander of the Panthers, will head the list of candidates for the RS parliament, and Dragomir Grubac from Trebinje, known as a consistent opponent to Bozidar Vucurevic, will head the list for the Bosnian parliament. The coalition came out with its list of candidates first to force the ruling SDS to "behave with more responsibility" and help Belgrade understand that the Bosnian Serbs are not "Leftists", a Bijeljina press conference was told.
VREME interviewed DPB leader Predrag Radic.
What is the basic DPB program? Regionalization, Bosnia as a single state or the state of two entities?
"The basic program is an effort to stop migrations and divisions. Not regionalization or separation as observers see it. In terms of the entities, just read the Dayton agreement and you’ll see we have the right to do that. The more so since the Moslem-Croat Federation is no longer one entity but two, more opposed to each other than the RS. The Moslems aren’t united any longer - they have the metal bar that struck Haris Silajdzic between them."
When I said regionalization, I meant relations inside the RS since there were a number of demands for the independence of municipalities.
"There are specific interests for some areas of the RS such as Semberija, Herzegovina, Krajina and we should think about giving regions a higher level of self-rule like most cities. The concentration and centralization of everything at one level proved to be highly inefficient and counterproductive."
What sets the DPB apart from the SDS, the program or the people?
"I would say the people. They made the program. We keep insisting that these are people who came out of this war morally pure and untainted. In proposing candidates for the RS and Bosnian union parliament we will insist on the best people regardless of whether they have joined the block. If there are good people in other parties we will support them jointly because we want the best people to represent the interests of the RS people in the next four years. I think that this year and the next will be decisive. If we don’t get the best people anything could happen."
What is the attitude of the media in the RS towards you?
"The media, even the independents, are always on the side of whoever is paying them. Don’t think there are any independent media."
Will the state media fulfill the condition on equal space for all parties?
"Judging by what the press said today, that has already been discussed in the competent bodies in the RS. They are only hinting of a more equal share of the media in promoting parties. If things stay as they are now we will have to turn to our own media which will not be at only our disposal but at the disposal of all parties which have something to say to the people. In the coming period, if this media blockade continues, we will launch our own media. Next week."
Are there any indications that Serbia will take the position of your block into account?
"If we are a center party, there are parties to the left and right of us. We will be equally close and equally distant from the left and right. There have been talks with the Serbian leadership. There will be more and they are needed. I expect we will also talk to the SDS - we are not a foreign body in the RS - since our common goal is to preserve what was won and defended with blood. That is the RS and no once can endanger that. Whoever does should be declared the traitor instead of us who are trying to save the RS and the people who are everywhere except in their homes."
Radic Thrown Out of the SDS
The Banja Luka SDS board did what Pale should have done and threw city Mayor Predrag Radic out of the party and proposed his dismissal as mayor. Radic commented the SDS decision: "They used their right to get rid of me. I have nothing against that." He added that he was surprised by the decision only because he won't be able to attend a main board meeting he was invited to next Thursday.