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Bosnian Serbs Overwhelmingly Vote to Keep Disputed Holiday

  • Associated Press

Bosnian Serb Milorad Dodik, President of the Bosnian Serb region of Republic of Srpska, greets supporters during celebrations after the result of the referendum in the Bosnian town of Pale, Bosnia, on Sunday Sept. 25, 2016.

Bosnian Serb Milorad Dodik, President of the Bosnian Serb region of Republic of Srpska, greets supporters during celebrations after the result of the referendum in the Bosnian town of Pale, Bosnia, on Sunday Sept. 25, 2016.

Bosnian Serbs have voted overwhelmingly in favor of keeping a disputed holiday that a constitutional court had said discriminates against non-Serbs.

The referendum organized by the local government in the Serb region of Republika Srpska defied a ban on the vote by Bosnia's constitutional court.

It asked whether to keep Jan. 9 as a holiday in Republika Srpska, commemorating the day in 1992 when Bosnian Serbs declared the creation of their own state, igniting the 1992-95 war. The court had ruled the date discriminates against Muslim Bosniaks and Catholic Croats in Bosnia because it falls on a Serb Christian Orthodox religious holiday.

Authorities said Monday that preliminary results show 99.79 percent of voters in Republika Srpska were in favor of the holiday and that turnout was 56-60 percent.

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