The United States has imposed sanctions on Nikola Spiric, a Serb deputy in Bosnia’s national parliament, over what it said was his involvement in “significant” corruption, just weeks before the country holds parliamentary and presidential elections.
The US State Department on Monday barred Nikola Spiric, a Serb MP in Bosnia’s state-level parliament, alleging that he has been involved in “significant corruption or gross violations of human rights”.
“Mr Spiric engaged in and benefited from public corruption, including the acceptance of improper benefits in exchange for the performance of public functions and interference with public processes, during his tenure as a member of the House of Representatives in Bosnia,” the US State Department said in a press release.
Responding to the ban, Spiric claimed that the US ambassador to Sarajevo, Maureen Cormack, had engineered it to harm his chances at the country’s upcoming elections.
“It is absolutely clear that sanctions against me and my family members are a product of the frustration of the outgoing US ambassador to Bosnia, Maureen Cormack, who made a desperate move 28 days before the general election in order to help her puppets from Sarajevo – the Alliance for Change [main opposition bloc],” Spiric told SRNA news agency.
He added that he feels proud “because this shows how much the people who don’t like my Republika Srpska and my Serb people see me as an obstacle to their goals”.
Spiric is vice-president of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, SNSD, the ruling party in Bosnia’s Serb-dominated entity Republika Srpska.