By Mikhail Plisyuk for EAD –
The parliamentary elections that took place in Montenegro yesterday, August 30, will definitely go down in history: they marked the end of 30 years of steadfastness in power of the current president of the country, Milo Djukanovic . Despite the fact that his party became the leader of the race, it is the opposition, which united forces at the last moment, most likely, and will form the parliamentary majority.
The most realistic scenario is that the ruling coalition will receive 40 seats in the new composition of the Assembly of Montenegro, while its opponents will occupy 41 seats. However, even this assumption may not come true if smaller players who have passed the threshold for entering parliament change their political preferences. However, the head of the largest opposition coalition “For the Future of Montenegro” Zdravko Krivokapic is already celebrating victory, and he has reasons for this.
According to the State Election Commission, based on the processing of one hundred percent of the ballots , the coalition “For the Future of Montenegro” won 32.55% of the vote. The “Allied” movements “Peace is our nationality” and “Black and White” earned 12.53 and 5.53%, respectively. Milo Djukanovic’s Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) received 35.06%, and the Social Democrats supporting her – 4.10%. The SDP-Strong Montenegro coalition received 3.14% support. The Bosnian Muslim Party finished with a score of 3.98%, the single list of Albanian parties “Genzi Nimanbegu – Nick Jeloshai” got 1.58%, and the Albanian coalition “Unanimously” – 1.14%. It is these forces that can determine the further development of events.
During the election campaign, the ruling party was more than once accused of fraud, the use of the country’s long-run technology of including “dead souls” on electoral lists, the purchase of personal data and even ID-cards of citizens, as well as the possible massive import of false voters into the country. What actually happened remains to be determined by the responsible authorities and international observers. Nevertheless, it is already obvious that the future cabinet of ministers will be obliged to deal with burning issues, first of all, with the problem of corruption and illegal actions of the authorities, which brutally suppressed dissent and freedom of conscience. And this is despite the “high democratic standards”, which in fact were ignored by the state, which is a NATO member and a candidate for EU membership.
Another moment that was extremely painfully perceived in society was Djukanovic’s attempts to restrict the rights of the Montenegrin dioceses of the Serbian Orthodox Church, take away their property and hand it over to a schismatic church organization – the so-called “Montenegrin Orthodox Church”. Not recognized by anyone, but not connected with Serbia. The law on freedom of religion, adopted at the end of last year, was intended to simplify this “procedure”. For Orthodox Montenegro, this decision of the authorities has become savagery and blasphemy. Many oppositionists, celebrating their victory today, have already promised to initiate a revision of the document in parliament.
The regime consistently fanned Serbophobia and interethnic strife, pursuing the goal of eradicating Serbian identity from individual citizens and destroying those spiritual bonds that bind a single Serbian people scattered across different countries of the former Yugoslavia. It is noteworthy that Serbian President Aleksandr Vucic has so far reservedly commented on the election results in Montenegro. Yesterday he said that “he would be ready to send congratulations to any winner”, but so far he can not do this due to the lack of official final results. He stressed that in any case he expects cooperation with Podgorica and hopes that “it will be peaceful in Montenegro.”
“We have no one closer. And this is important to us. I think that the people of Montenegro want the relations between our countries to be the closest, regardless of who belongs to which nation, ”Alexander Vucic said today.
At the same time, it is obvious that the policy of the Montenegrin authorities in relation to the Serbian Orthodox Church and attempts to limit the rights of local Serbs is absolutely unacceptable for Belgrade. By the way, the aforementioned coalition “For the Future of Montenegro” just stated that they intend to restore relations with Belgrade, and also with Russia. But it is worth remembering that in the ranks of the motley Montenegrin opposition there are enough of those who also support the development of relations with the EU and NATO. It can be argued with a high degree of confidence that the political combinations that will emerge as a result of the elections may turn into various surprises. It remains to be hoped that any coalition schemes will be oriented, first of all, to the interests of the Montenegrin society.