ĐORĐE POPOVIĆ, DNS Main Board member and DNS list leader for the National Parliament of RS: Open Towards the World but Aware of Ourselves

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Responsible towards ourselves and the future generations to which we have to provide conditions for a dignified life in their country. That is my personal vision and the vision of DNS

In the wake of October elections, we talked with Đorđe Popović, member of DNS Main Board and DNS list leader for the National Parliament of RS, who said for DC magazine: these elections can really be observed as a turning point after which our society should start ascending, both politically and economically. I believe that citizens will award our long-term work for a better Republic of Srpska and better life of citizens in these elections.

How would you rate the political situation in Srpska and in BiH?

In all transitional societies, including ours, political situation is in a state of permanent tension. In the Republic of Srpska and BiH, tensions are now additionally accentuated due to upcoming general elections which many describe as the most important ones in the post-Dayton era. It is obvious that many things don’t function in BiH, they reached a wall, and citizens are at the edge of patience in expectation of a better life in this country. In that sense, these elections can indeed be observed as a turning point after which our society should start ascending, both politically and economically. The time has come for politics and politicians to take full responsibility, for a political consensus to be reached whose minimum common denominators should primarily be peace, stability and better life for the citizens.

What result do you expect in the October elections?

I expect that citizens will elect serious and responsible people who are prepared to lead a responsible politics with the intention to achieve the mentioned goals. DNS is the only party in the Republic of Srpska that has strictly and consistentlyimplemented such politics over the past years. I believe that in these elections, citizens will award our long-term work for a better Republic of Srpska and better life of citizens. That is why I am certain that DNS will achieve its goal – more than 100,000 votes, i.e. 12 to 15 mandates in the National Parliament of the Republic of Srpska, and at least two direct mandates in the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH. This should bring us a key role in the forming of future government in RS and on BiH level, which will give DNS the chance to affect the overall social processes much more than before.

What do you offer to voters and what do they recognize as your greatest value?

DNS’ pre-election slogan is – Responsibly, towards the citizens, towards the young, towards national interests, natural resources, towards the future and future generations. As I already emphasized, DNS has become recognizable for such policy. A vote for DNS is a vote for serious people who are ready to take responsibility for what they are doing, to behave responsibly towards to needs of citizens and the society they run, to be a service for the citizens. Our President Marko Pavić often says that DNS hasn’t had enough political capacity until now to achieve all of its program goals. With the expected good result in October elections, DNS’ political capacity will be significantly increased, and this automatically means progress for the Republic of Srpska.

What is your vision of the Republic of Srpska?

Peace and stability, with preservation of vital interests of the Republic of Srpska. Economic prosperity, more jobs for all the citizens and better earnings. To be open towards the world but aware of ourselves and our values. Responsible towards ourselves and the future generations for which we have to provide conditions for a dignified life in their country. That is my personal vision and the vision of DNS.

Does your party have enough expert and experienced members who can present such a vision?

We are witnesses that a large number of new members are joining DNS every day. These are mainly young, educated and successful people who want to invest their knowledge and energy in the making of a better and fairer society in the Republic of Srpska and BiH. Also, DNS has sufficient experienced politicians and experts who can respond to all the requirements of a modern society in a quality manner. Colloquially speaking, DNS represents a quality combination of youth and experience, which is always a winning combination.

You are the Director of RITE “Ugljevik”. How do you rate the situation in RS’ economy and in the energy sector?

Despite the difficulties that are most often a result of political tensions in RS, BiH and the region, progress in the energy sector of the Republic of Srpska is obvious. It is sufficient to mention RiTE Ugljevik where we opened new perspectives of the enterprise through a systemic approach, and we are currently a persuasive leader in the production of electric energy in the Republic of Srpska. We have a positive business result, we employ a large number of workers and we are the backbone of the economy of the Republic of Srpska. On the other hand, when it comes to general economic situation, we certainly cannot be satisfied. But there is a lot of room for progress. DNS stands for strengthening of real sector by inciting the private initiative, public and private partnership projects and many other positive solutions that are to contribute to lowering of unemployment and growth of salaries in the economy. In order to get the opportunity to implement this platform, we need citizens’ support in the elections. I am convinced that DNS will receive strong support from the people.

When you came to the head of RITE, you conduct a complete renovation and initiated a desulphurization process. How significant are these two projects for the electric energy system of the Republic of Srpska?

Thanks to extensive complete renovation, in which we invested BAM 39 million, we extended the lifetime of the thermal power plant by two decades. Effects are such that we already have a higher than planned production of electric energy in 2018. Desulphurization process is also progressing ahead of the planned dynamics, and it should be completed in May next year, when we plan to start the test phase. The end goal is for clean electric energy to be produced in Ugljevik. The project for construction of a facility for flue gas desulphurization process at TE Ugljevik represents the biggest and the most expensive ecological project in the entire BiH. Thanks to this, RiTE Ugljevik and this entire region have a good perspective, which was our main goal.

What are the relations in the coalition? Could the rise of your party and rise in the number of members jeopardize relations in the coalition?

The SNSD – DNS – SP coalition in the Republic of Srpska has functioned well for a long number of years. Of course, each coalition always has certain issues. It is quite normal to have different opinions on many issues but that’s what politics is for, to harmonize positions and look for common solutions. DNS was always fair and open towards its coalition partners, and I don’t think that strengthening of DNS’ reputation could jeopardize the coalition. If that was to happen eventually, it certainly would not be DNS’ fault.

I BELIEVE IN THE VICTORY OF COMMON CANDIDATES

Do you expect victory of the coalition’s candidate for places of Serbian member of BiH Presidency and President of RS?

In accordance with the coalition agreement, DNS will offer maximum support to SNSD candidates for President of RS and member of BiH Presidency. I expect the other two coalition parties to do the same, and that there will be no unfair moves on any side. I believe in the victory of common candidates for operational executives.

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