Republika Srpska voters backed the initiative to make January 9 a state holiday in a Sunday referendum that the Bosnia and Herzegovina court declared illegal, media reported.
The preliminary results showed that out of 70 percent of ballots already counted, 99.9 percent supported the idea of the holiday, according to Financial Times newspaper.
Republika Srpska is one of the two autonomous entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while the other is the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Their relations are largely affected by the civil war among Serbs, Bosnian Muslims and Croatians in 1992-1995.
Republika Srpska does not agree to celebrate the national day of Bosnia and Herzegovina on March 1, for on that day in 1992 the Bosnian parliament proclaimed the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina without the presence of Bosnian Serbs. Republika Srpska proposed a different date for its own national holiday, January 9, which is a Serbian Orthodox Christian holiday and the anniversary of Bosnian Serbs declaring independence in 1992.