What’s next for Montenegro?

Following an important victory in parliamentary elections in Montenegro, the leaders of the opposition coalitions “For the Future of Montenegro”, “Peace is our nation” and “Black and white”, Zdravko Krivokapic, Aleksa Becic and Dritan Abazovic respectively, agreed on several principles on which the future government will rest, including the formation of an expert government, as well as amending and revising discriminatory laws and bylaws, including the Law on Freedom of Religion.

As their joint statement said, their first agreed principle is that the new, democratic government will responsibly implement all international obligations. The second is that the new democratic government will implement all necessary reforms in order for Montenegro to join the European Union as soon as possible.

The third is that the new, democratic government will be made of experts from specific fields, regardless of their political, religious, national or any other characteristics.

“Fourth, the new government will be fully committed to respecting the Constitution and enforcing the law, with amendments, revisions and revisions of all discriminatory laws and bylaws, including the Law on Freedom of Religion,” the statement said.

What awaits Milo Djukanovic following his election defeat?

Djukanovic’s party will no longer be able to form a majority in the Parliament, but that is only the first step in Montenegro’s conquest of freedom, Dragoslav Dedović commented for Deutsche Welle.

Analysts first saw the high turnout in the parliamentary elections in Montenegro as something that goes hand in hand with the opposition. Indeed, public opinion polls have predicted that Djukanovic’s Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) may win only 35 per cent of votes. But they did not foresee almost 33% of the electorate voting for the Future of Montenegro coalition, which backbone is the pro-Serbian Democratic Front?

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High turnout in countries like Montenegro can have unintended side effects.

In a country that officially has a population of 622,000, there are over 540,000 registered voters, that is people over the age of 18. It is estimated that the number of minors in Montenegro is around 140,000. So, either there are about 700,000 Montenegrins in total, meaning that the demographic statistics are completely wrong, or there is a surplus of at least 50,000 or even 60,000 phantom voters. That is ten per cent of the electorate. Activating these fictitious voters in critical situations could have solved these neck-to-neck elections in favour of the ruling party.

Maybe that is exactly what Milos Nikolic, Djukanovic’s party spokesman, had in mind when he stated, immediately after the polls closed, looking straight into the cameras, that his party was ready for the great turnout and that he expected a victory.

This time, it seems, neither the fictitious voters, nor the fear of the famous bogeyman called the Greater Serbia, nor the state media spin helped. The DPS lost so many votes that, in any other democratic country, the head of the ruling party would immediately resign. But not Milo!

Arrogant mistakes

The DPS had the Serbian Orthodox Church against it, the coronavirus, an economic catastrophe, but also, unknowingly, it’s own president, Milo Djukanovic because Milo has long since lost any sense of political reality.

He made a mistake in confronting the church, he made a mistake by underestimating the growth of civil resistance, he could not hide the increasingly obvious corruption, he politicized the fight against the pandemic and, finally, he made a mistake in not postponing the elections.

He has long been involved in politics only to protect himself, his clan and their huge wealth, to gain immunity against being prosecuted for his sinful past.

Sooner or later, he will have to choose between exile in a country that loves the money of exiled autocrats or to continue creating discord in Montenegro. This second scenario could lead to being prosecuted, and that’s definitely not something he would want.

(Politika, B92, 01.09.2020)



Photo credits: AP Photo / Risto Bozovic

This post is also available in: Italiano

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