Montenegro elections: djukanovic must fear for power base

Montenegro elections: djukanovic must fear for power base

A new parliament has been elected in montenegro with strong citizen participation. Until 13.00 a.M. 54 percent of the 540 or so residents of.000 eligible voters cast their ballots, according to the election research institute cemi in the capital podgorica.

That was 14 percentage points more than at the same time in the previous election in 2016. The ballot will decide whether president milo djukanovic can continue to rely on a parliamentary majority. For almost 30 years, the 58-year-old has held various positions in the former yugoslav republic of serbia. During this period, there was no democratic change of power in either parliamentary or presidential elections.

Eleven parties and electoral alliances competed for the 81 seats in the people’s assembly, which consists of one chamber. In the last polls, djukanovic’s ruling party, the DPS (democratic party of socialists), was leading with 35 percent. The opposition ran in three different constituencies, whose positions differed greatly from one another.

The alliance for the future of serbia, which is rallying around the pro-serbian and pro-russian democratic front (DF), can count on 25 percent of the vote. The liberal pro-european alliance peace is our nation received 17 percent of the vote, while the alliance black on women, which is supported by citizen activists, received seven percent.

These party blocs are united only in their rejection of djukanovic, whom they accuse of corruption, involvement in organized crime and authoritarian tendencies. The powerful president can hope that some smaller parties will overcome the three-percent hurdle and become available for a governing coalition. He can already count on the cooperation of five minority representatives of the bosniaks and albanians.

On many fundamental questions, such as the relationship to serbia and to the west, the population was divided. Djukanovic today stands for a pro-western course. In 2006 he had led the country into independence from serbia, in 2017 into nato. Montenegro has been negotiating EU membership since 2012.

Most recently, however, djukanovic stoked tensions when, at the end of the previous year, he voted in favor of a law threatening to expropriate the property of the serbian orthodox church, which is controlled from belgrade. The law drew mass protests, which only subsided as a result of the corona pandemic in the spring.

Djukanovic’s government is also facing accusations of manipulating the electoral process. Investigations by investigative journalists have already revealed strong indications of falsified electoral registers, vote buying and election blackmail in previous elections. Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that opposition supporters will also question this election result and express their displeasure in street protests.

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