Nikola Poplašen

Nikola Poplašen (Никола Поплашен; born 15 December 1951 in Sombor)[1][2] is a former Bosnian Serb politician and Chetnik Vojvoda. He was the president of Republika Srpska from late 1998 to 1999.[3] He was removed by the High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Carlos Westendorp, on 5 March 1999.[4] The removal was enforced on 2 September 1999.

Nikola Poplašen
Никола Поплашен
3rd President of Republika Srpska
In office
4 November 1998 – 2 September 1999
Vice PresidentMirko Šarović
Preceded byBiljana Plavšić
Succeeded byMirko Šarović
Personal details
Born (1951-12-15) 15 December 1951 (age 68)
Sombor, Yugoslavia
Political partySerb Democratic Party (1991–1992)
Serbian Radical Party (1992–?)

Following his removal from the presidency, he also worked as a member of the Senate of Republika Srpska.[5] He testified as a defense witness for Radovan Karadžić in his trial.[6]

Bosnian WarEdit

Following the outbreak of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poplašen left Sarajevo with his family to work for the newly-formed government of Republika Srpska in Pale. There he served as a member of the Advisory of Serb Democratic Party and also personally advised Radovan Karadžić.[7] However, he left SDS in 1992 and founded the Serbian Radical Party of Republika Srpska.[7] Subsequently, he worked as a commissioner for the government of Republika Srpska in Vogošća[6] up to December 1992.[7] He saw combat and was formally given the title of a Chetnik Vojvoda by Vojislav Šešelj.[7]

Political careerEdit

Poplašen ran as the Serbian Radical Party candidate in the 1998 Republika Srpska election. He beat Biljana Plavšić and was elected president of Republika Srpska on 13 September 1998. His victory was received negatively by the government of the United States, which supported Plavšić during the election.[8] High Representative Westendorp stated that he would recognize Poplašen's victory on the condition that he does not name Momčilo Krajišnik as Prime Minister.[7] In November 1998, Poplašen attempted to appoint Dragan Kalinić as Prime Minister. However this was rejected by the Office of the High Representative.[9] On 5 March 1999, Westendorp dismissed Poplašen after he refused to give Milorad Dodik a new mandate as Prime Minister.[4] Additionally, Westendorp also removed Brčko from Republika Srpska's control, moving it into the administration of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Republika Srpska's National Assembly responded with a vote to cut off relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and also ruled that both of Westendorp's decisions were unconstitutional and defied the Dayton Agreement.[4] CBS reported that thousands protested Poplašen's removal in Doboj.[4] In an ironic development, Dodik resigned as Prime Minister in protest of the decision to remove Brčko from Republika Srpska's control.[10]

Later careerEdit

Poplašen was appointed as a member of the board for the Agency for Development of Higher Education of Bosnia and Herzegovina in November 2015.[11] His appointment was controversial given his background in the war and also due to the unexpected votes he received from some members of the Party of Democratic Action and the Democratic Front.[11]


  1. ^ "Ko je Nikola Poplašen: Biografska abeceda vaskrsnulog četničkog vojvode" (in Bosnian). Radio Sarajevo. November 13, 2015.
  2. ^ "Nikola Poplasen, l'intellectuel de l'ultra-nationalisme serbe". L'Orient-Le Jour (in French). September 28, 1998.
  3. ^ "Belgrade's anger at sacking". BBC. 1999-03-06. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
  4. ^ a b c d "Bosnia Serbs Reject Rulings". CBS. 5 March 1999.
  5. ^ "MEMBERS OF THE SENATE". Archived from the original on 1 November 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Никола Поплашен: Радован Караџић није заговарао протеривања несрба са српских територија". Nova srpska politička misao (in Serbian). November 15, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d e Senad Pećanin (28 September 1998). "Intervju Dana: NIKOLA POPLAŠEN". BH Dani (in Bosnian). Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  8. ^ Philip Shenon (19 September 1998). "U.S. Dismayed at Apparent Victory of Hard-Line Bosnian Serb". The New York Times.
  9. ^ "Defying West, Bosnian Serb Taps an Ally". The New York Times. 15 November 1998.
  10. ^ Guy Dinmore (6 March 1999). "SERBS FURIOUS IN BOSNIA". Chicago Tribune.
  11. ^ a b Rodolfo Toè (13 November 2015). "BiH: Nezadovoljstvo zbog izbora Nikole Poplašena" (in Bosnian). Balkan Insight.