Bosnian Serbs overwhelmingly vote to keep disputed holiday

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.