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Bosnia Serb Law Paves Way For Referendums

The Bosnian Serb region's parliament has passed a law that will make it easier to hold referendums on divisive issues such as the legitimacy of the Dayton peace accords that ended the 1992-95 war.

Republika Srpska -- one of the two entities which make up Bosnia along with the Muslim-Croat federation -- seeks greater autonomy, and although any referendums held only in the Serbian part of the country would not be legally binding for Bosnia, their outcomes could be politically and socially explosive.

The first referendum on the table will gauge public support for the Dayton peace accords and for the work of international peace envoy Valentin Inzko.

Inzko, who has the power to impose laws and fire officials in Bosnia, has said that a referendum questioning elements of the Dayton accords would violate the constitution and the peace agreement itself.

compiled from agency reports