Presidential elections 2013
In the 2013 Presidential elections incumbent President Filip Vujanović (Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS) was challenged by the opposition leader Miodrag Lekić. Lekić ran as an independent candidate but was widely supported by the largest opposition party, the Democratic Front (DF). On April 8, the electoral commission announced that Vujanović had won the elections with a landslide victory of only 52.2% of the votes. Lekić gained 48.8% of the total votes. Representatives for Lekić’ campaign announced that they would not recognize the result, and demanded a recount of the votes.
Several protesters in Podgorica demanded from that the Parliament to annul the vote within ten days and would call for new elections. The protesters said they would not accept the alleged fraud, and carried banners with slogans like “We defend our victory, we defend our Montenegro.”
The commission however said no major irregularities were reported during the elections, and added that voter turnout was 63.9%. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe also said that the election ‘generally met OSCE requirements.’
DPS’s coalition partner, Social Democratic Party (SDP), called upon their voters not to vote or to cast a blank vote as they consider the candidacy of Vujanović as unconstitutional. This would be his third term as president, while only two terms are allowed in the constitution. DPS on the other hand, backed by the Constitutional Court claims that Vujanović first term does not count as it was during the State Union with Serbia.
The Presidential election is consistent with a slow but growing popularity of Miodrag Lekić and his Democratic Front. During the Parliamentary elections of 2012 the Democratic Front gained 23,8% of the votes.
Parliamentary elections 2012
European Montenegro coalition led by Milo Djukanović has won the October 14 Montenegro early parliamentary elections for the Skupština Crne Gore. According to the results of the vote count, the coalition does not have enough seats to govern alone.
The European Montenegro coalition made up of the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Liberal Party (LP) has won 45.6 percent of the votes and has thus ensured 39 seats of the 81 seats in parliament, the Centre for Monitoring declared. By winning 39 seats, the European Montenegro coalition was two seats short to form a majority. It needed support from the ethnic minority Bosniak, Croat and Albanian party in order to form a majority. With this, the ethnic minority parties continued to be a part of the ruling coalition. The pre-election coalition between long-time political partners DPS and SDP was self-evident as in previous elections. After all, for the first time SDP decided to run alone at the local elections in Podgorica and some other cities. On the opposition side, Democratic Front won 23.8 percent of the votes and 20 mandates, followed by the Socialist People’s Party, with 10.6 percent of votes and 9 seats in parliament. Positive Montenegro has gained 8.9 percent and 7 seats. The final voter register contained 514,055 names, thus declared a total voter turnout of 70.56 percent. In Montenegro’s second largest town Niksic the opposition parties, Positive Montenegro, the Socialist People’s Party and the Democratic Front have reached a deal on forming a coalition.
The 14 October, 2012 parliamentary elections were observed by the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) which deployed a mission of observers from seven participating states, as well as 12 long-term observers reporting from throughout Montenegro.
The 14 October 2012 early parliamentary elections are reported by the OSCE/ODIHR to have taken place in a peaceful and pluralistic environment with respect for fundamental rights, as well as consolidating the conduct of democratic elections in line with OSCE commitments and Council of Europe standards. A lack of public confidence was in the electoral process was expressed in the large number of allegations of state and party confluence and election irregularities. Additionally, several key issues are said by the OSCE/ODIHR to need further improvement, including the compilation of voter lists, the oversight of campaign finances and the review of complaints.
The report declares that electoral contestants were able to campaign freely, and access to public space was generally provided without limitations. The campaign was personalised and negative in tone. Discrepancies in the voter register emerged as a prominent campaign issue. Allegations of abuse of state resources and reported violations of the public sector recruitment ban during the electoral campaign blurred the line between state activities and the campaign of the ruling coalition. The candidate registration process was inclusive and transparent. These elections were contested by 13 candidate lists, with a total of 841 candidates. A total of 264 women stood as candidates, which was a significant increase from the past. The State Election Commission (SEC) operated professionally and transparently, but with a limited interpretation of its role. In these elections, the election administration enjoyed greater political pluralism at all levels. However, although all electoral contestants have the right to appoint authorized representatives with voting privileges to the SEC, municipal election commissions (MECs) and polling boards (PBs), this right was not fully exercised at the PB level due to parties’ stated limited financial and human resources. Due to a lack of provisions for removing voters that no longer meet residency requirements, many citizens abroad remained on the voter lists. Enfranchising approximately 60,000 voters with expired identification cards, parliament decided to extend the validity of these cards.
The OSCE/ODIHR reported that voting generally proceeded in an orderly manner, despite the media reporting minor interruptions and discrepancies and although the new rights of authorized representatives with voting privileges to the PBs were often neglected. The SEC promptly addressed one complaint received during the voting. Both counting and tabulation appeared to have been conducted in a transparent and efficient manner, the observers conclude.
Presidential elections 2008
Montenegro’s latest presidential election took place on 6 April 2008, and was the first presidential election held in the country since it declared itself independent after the 21 May 2006 referendum. The election was called as incumbent president Filip Vujanović’s term would end on 22 May 2008.
Several potential candidates announced their intention to run in the elections. In order to compete, they had to gather supporting signatures of at least 1.5 percent of the electorate (7.266 signatures), which had to be signed at the Municipal Election Commissions (MECs) of the respective supporters, in front of two MEC members. Four candidates met the signature collection criteria and were able to compete in the elections, including incumbent president Filip Vujanović of the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS). The candidates challenging him were Nebojsa Medojević (Movement for Change; PzP), Andrija Mandić (Serb List; SL) and Srdjan Milić (Socialist People’s Party; SNP), all from opposition parties.
International election observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) noted that the choice between 4 candidates “provided voters with a genuine choice,” and that the election campaign was conducted in a “peaceful and constructive” manner. All candidates actively campaigned with their own platforms.
According to reports, there were no obstacles for the candidates to campaign, and all four of them campaigned actively. There were some discrepancies noticed during the broadcasting of one of a live televised debate, with the broadcasting of Djukanović criticizing Medojević, as well as the incumbent president, Vujanović reportedly mixing his personal campaign rallies with official happenings on which he was present as acting head of state.
Conduct at the day of the elections was “orderly and peaceful”, and observers “evaluated the process [in polling stations] as good or very good in 98 percent of the cases.” All in all the OSCE thus concluded that “[n]early all aspects of the election were found to be in line with OSCE Commitments and Council of Europe standards for democratic elections.” Meanwhile, the opposition, and especially the Socialist People’s Party, alleged election fraud, claims which were not substantiated.
Elections were won in a single round by Filip Vujanović, who managed to get just over half of all the votes - 51.89 percent. The Socialist People’s Party boycotted his inauguration over alleged fraud during the elections; the Movement for Change was also not present out of protest to a decision to end TV coverage of parliamentary sessions; and the pro-Serbian People’s Party (NS) did not attend out of protest to the playing of the Montenegrin national anthem during the ceremony.
Early parliamentary elections in October 2012
April 2012 saw an increase in political clashes ahead of the local elections in two coastal towns. At the campaign gathering leader of the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) Milovan Djukanović accused the opposition and part of the civil society and the media that in their desire to come to power they were hurting national interests by attacking investors and trying to portray the DPS, its leader and the previous government as corrupt. He added that if anyone should be arrested, it is the opposition leaders and some media owners who should end up in prison. Djukanović reacted on increasing opposition against him. Critique on his rule also came from within the coalition as the Social Democratic Party (SDP) tried to present itself more and more as an alternative to the DPS rather than its small supportive brother. At the local elections in 2010, the SDP ran separately from DPS for the first time in a decade (they usually run as pre-election coalition) and got its best election result: around 15% of the votes. During the course of 2012 SDP officials have hinted on several occasions that the party wishes to run separate from the DPS, however, on 16 July 2012 the Presidency of the DPS reported a broad agreement with the SDP on a once again joint participation in the election.
In preparation to the coming elections, the opposition seemed to have gathered forces stronger than in previous years. A new opposition Democratic Front coalition was formed in July 2012 with the aim of replacing the long-standing regime of the DPS. The new coalition was headed by Montenegro’s former foreign minister Miodrag Lekic and consists of the New Serbian Democracy Party (NOVA) and the Movement for Changes (PzP). Two new political formations, Righteous Montenegro and Positive Montenegro, have both distanced themselves from the initiative. The new coalition was seen as opposed to the performance of the SNP in the past few years, the country’s biggest opposition party, who has in the eyes of the initiators failed to take real action against the government.
Experts did not show conviction of the opposition gaining large enough support to overthrow the incumbent coalition. Days before the election, on October 2, the centre for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM) released a survey of political public opinion in Montenegro predicting the Coalition European Montenegro to gain 47,2 percent of the votes, the Democratic Front would get 18,5 percent of the votes and another newcomer, Positive Montenegro, would count on 10,2 percent. The results of the elections proved to be consistent with these predictions.
Continuation of a trend
As predicted, the majority coalition in the country, Coalition European Montenegro, is continuing its long-standing tradition of victory. The coalition has won every general election in Montenegro since the first multi-party elections of 1990. The leader of the party Milo Djukanović, party chief since 1998, who quit the post of Prime Minister in 2010, was appointed prime minister by the parliament for the seventh time. The DPS held 36 out of the 81 seats in the last parliament. According to experts with the victory of the ruling coalition, Montenegro is to witness a process of prolonged consistency maintaining current trends which seem to have won points of approval from the European Union, going by the October 10 progress report approved by the European Commission. Permanence in matters of development and reform in Montenegro with the current status could lead to further progress, having in mind the EU views declaring the country to have made real progress towards EU membership. On 11 October, Mitja Drobnić, head of the EU delegation to Montenegro said that despite some shortcomings, the country had continued to meet the political criteria needed for EU accession. Prime Minister (at that time) Lukšić also declared the report to be a confirmation that Montenegro was on the right track. “We see this report as a guideline for the more efficient organisation of work within the negotiation structures and for focus on key areas, which demand full commitment,” he added.
29 June 2012 marked an historic day for Montenegro as the EU officially opened accession negotiations with the country. In approving Montenegro's bid, the Council underlined the particular importance it attaches to the area of the rule of law and fundamental rights, and it urged Montenegro to continue tackling these issues, which have been identified as areas of concern by the European Commission. The key areas demanding attention are the independence of the judiciary and the fight against organized crime and corruption. Therefore, the negotiations start with the challenging chapters 23 and 24 that deal with these issues. The outcome of the General Affairs Council meeting was anxiously awaited in Podgorica, because the support of some countries, such as Sweden, remained uncertain until the last moment. The news about the start of EU-Montenegro talks was welcomed beyond the country’s borders in the region, Croatia and Serbia stated that the decision was an encouragement for the whole region.
On 10 September 2012 the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, said Montenegro is likely to become the EU's 29th member. At the International Conference for Peace in Sarajevo, Van Rompuy noted that Montenegro’s success in quickly receiving candidate status and the opening of membership negotiations was evidence that the EU door were open. Vujanovic said that Montenegro is committed to EU integration and that parliamentary elections due next month will give the government of Montenegro democratic legitimacy. On 29 September it was announced after talks between Montenegro’s parliament Speaker and SDP leader Ranko Krivokapić, EP President Martin Schultz and EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Füle that Montenegro can continue to count on European Parliament and European Commission’s support and help in the EU integration process. Krivokapić stressed that parliament continuously strengthened its capacities and significantly contributed to the increase in the level of the democratic standards, adding that the EC had recognized this in its latest reports. Schultz expressed his satisfaction over Montenegro’s progress which was rewarded with the beginning of the EU accession talks. “The negotiations mean that Montenegro is on the right track,” he stated.
Representation of women
Women remain significantly underrepresented in Montenegrin politics. In the Presidential election of 2008, no female candidates competed. The 2012 parliamentary elections provided for an improvement in women election participation with a total of 264 women stood as candidates, declared to be a significant increase from past elections. Currently there are 13 out of 81 female parliamentarians.
The State Union of Serbia and Montenegro initiated the process of Accession to the EU in November 2005, when negotiations over a Stabilisation and Association Agreement started. The Stabilisation and Association Agreement between Montenegro and the EU was signed in
October 2007 and entered into force in May 2010. Montenegro officially applied for EU membership on 15 December 2008. Following a request by the Council, the Commission submitted its Opinion on Montenegro’s application in November 2010. In December 2010, the European Council granted Montenegro candidate country status.
In October 2011 the Commission recommended opening accession negotiations with Montenegro. The recommendation was restated in May 2012. Following a positive decision by the Council, endorsed by the European Council, accession negotiations were opened in June 2012. The screening of the chapters on judiciary and fundamental rights, and
justice, freedom and security took place in spring, in line with the new approach for these chapters.
On 10 October 2012 the Commissioner for Enlargement and neighbourhood policy Štefan Füle presented the annual progress reports in the European Parliament Committee for Foreign Affairs. The results of the progress report insisted that further progress has been made in establishing a functioning market economy, improving the ability to take on the obligations of EU membership, and continuing to sufficiently meet the political criteria for EU membership of Montenegro. The screening process has begun and is expected to finish in summer 2013. The accession negotiations will integrate the new approach for the chapters on judiciary and fundamental rights, and justice, freedom and security, thereby reinforcing the focus on rule of law and on the irreversibility of the undertaken reforms. For this, in the next stage of the accession process, Montenegro will open first chapters 23 (judiciary and fundamental rights) and 24 (justice, freedom and security). The report also underlined that Montenegro still needs to further develop a track record in this area, in particular with respect to high-level corruption and organised crime, a problem with which the country has been struggling since the flourishing of organized crime in the sanctions and war-driven former Yugoslavia. Experts argue that Montenegro will certainly face some challenges in closing these chapters. Due to a lack of administrative capacity the Montenegrin government has invited the civil society to help and advice during the accession process.
In 2003 Serbia and Montenegro adopted a resolution, which entailed that the two countries would become part of a State Union for three years. This union was largely supported by the EU, since it feared that the prospect of Montenegrin independence would have a negative input on the status of Kosovo and a destabilising effect on the rest of the region. In exchange for the agreement on the State Union, the EU offered a more rapid process towards European integration of Serbia and Montenegro. Montenegro agreed to the establishment of the State Union under the condition that the country was permitted to begin independence procedures within three years. The State Union replaced the federal structure, which existed before Yugoslavia fell apart. The new central government and parliament however lacked authority. Montenegro resisted all efforts to create an effective and functional State Union out of fear for Serbian dominance. The Montenegrin government only truly cooperated on the central level in the Foreign Ministry and the Supreme Defence Council. Cooperation in the institutions was aimed respectively at putting the independence of Montenegro on the agenda internationally and at placing the army under civilian control in order to control those forces inside the military which are interested in influencing Montenegrin politics.
In 2006, both states were allowed to decide on their future independence. The 2003 agreement proved dissatisfactory for the either of the republics with Montenegro pushing for independence and Serbia demanding for a strongly centralised state. On 21 May 2006, 86.49 percent of all eligible voters in Montenegro cast ballots of whom 55.53 percent said to be in favour of independence. The threshold of 55 percent, as stipulated by the EU, was narrowly passed.
Although majority of the Montenegrins chose for independence, a high number opted for remainder of the Union with Serbia. Of those who preferred the State Union, many belong to the thirty percent of those who define themselves as Serbs. Momir Bulatović, President of Yugoslavia from 1998 to 2000, led the unionists.
On 31 July 2007, a new chapter in Montenegro's chapter of independence was written. On this date the parliament adopted the draft-constitution, which was developed after the country's independence in May 2006. The draft-constitution states that Montenegrin will be the official language and that church and state are separated. The Montenegrins coat-of-arms will remain the golden two-headed eagle. The flag will remain red with the coat-of-arms in the centre. The Cyrillic and Latin writing will be considered equally official and the draft also calls for the direct election of the president, which will serve a maximum of two 5-year terms. Additionally, after the dissolution, Serbia continued to be the legal successor of the union, while Montenegro re-applied for membership in international organizations.
With Montenegro being an independent state, the EU started to adapt the instruments of the Stabilisation and Association process to the new situation. Thus, an Enhanced Permanent Dialogue meeting with Montenegro was held on 24 July 2006 in Podgorica. On the same day the Council adopted a mandate for the negotiation of a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with Montenegro based on the previous mandate for negotiations with the former State Union. The European Commission launched SAA negotiations on 26 September. On 1 December 2006 the technical negotiations were finished. On 29 June 2012 Montenegro started with the official accession negotiations.
War and sanctions in the early 1990s affected Montenegro very negatively, plunging many citizens below the poverty line. Significant recovery began only after the end of the Kosovo crisis in 1999. The adoption of the deutschemark (DM) in November 1999 largely disconnected Montenegro's economy from Serbia and from the extreme currency fluctuations experienced by the Serbian dinar. In 2002, Montenegro replaced the DM with the Euro, despite not being officially part of the European economic and monetary union (Eurozone).
The recent global financial crisis had a major negative impact on the economy, largely as a result of the ongoing credit crunch, a decline in the real estate sector, and a fall in leading product exports, such as aluminium. In March 2009, Montenegro’s government bond rating was downgraded from Ba2 to Ba3 (“non-investment grade, speculative” bonds) and assigned a negative outlook to the rating. On March 30, 2011, the outlook of Montenegro’s government bonds was upgraded from negative to stable, though the Ba3 rating remained unchanged.
In the years since the independence, there has been rapid growth in tourism and tourism investments, especially along the Adriatic coast. On many occasions the independent World Travel and Tourism Council has ranked Montenegro as one of the top-growing tourism destinations in the world, with growth estimated at 11.9% annually through 2021. According to estimates of the Montenegrin Investment Promotion Agency, compared to many of its neighbours, Montenegro has a high per capita GDP (about US,677, 2009 est.). According to a Financial Times report, a 2009 estimate shows that Montenegro has a GDP of US$ 4.278 billion, with a real growth of 2.5% for 2010 and 2011 and an estimated real growth of 0.2% for 2012. Statistics for inflation show an increase with 0.7% inflation in 2010, 3.1% in 2010 and estimated 2% inflation in 2012. The public deficit is calculated to be -5.7% for 2009, -4.9% for 2010, estimated -6.5% for 2010 and forecasted -5% for 2012. There is also an increase in general government gross debt as percentage of the GDP with 40.7% in 2009, 45.8% in 2011 and an estimated 48.9% in 2012.
The dissolution of the state union of Serbia and Montenegro in 2006 led to Montenegro’s independent membership in several international financial institutions, such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), of which it was Chair-in-Office in 2009. In January 2007, Montenegro joined the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). Montenegro was confirmed as a member of the World Trade Organization on December 17, 2011.
Although the government has been engaged in an economic reform agenda, the Montenegrins face poverty in their daily lives. Around 6.6 percent (2010 est.) of the population of Montenegro lives below the poverty line and unemployment is as high as 11.5 percent (2011 est.). Furthermore, reports show a lot of people living just above the poverty line, which indicates that many could easily drop into severe poverty.
Internally displaced people, Roma and women are among the most vulnerable. The poorest region in Montenegro is the North. Most of the registered unemployed are either economically inactive or work in the grey economy. At the same time, almost a third of the “true” unemployed are not registered by the labour offices. The prospects of the poor competing for jobs are troubled by labour market discrimination against the most vulnerable and the inadequate skills of the poor.
Social Democratic Party (SDP)
Party leader: Ranko Krivokapić
The SDP was founded in June 1993 after a merger of the Social Democratic Reform Party and the Socialist Party of Montenegro. The party is firmly anti-war oriented and strongly opposed Milosević. Its main goal is the development of a “democratic internationally recognised and independent Montenegro that keeps abreast with Europe in order to provide better life, greater rights, freedoms and happiness for every person and for all people.” Over the years SDP remained a relatively small party (around 5 % of the votes), however, at the parliamentary elections in 2009 SDP succeeded in getting just over 11 % of the votes: 9 out of 81 seats in the parliament. The party managed to attract more young progressive voters and became the third biggest party in the country. Despite being a relatively small party, SDP managed to play a notable role in the political scene over the years. Although regarded by critics as the small supportive brother of the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), at the local elections in 2010 SDP ran separately from DPS for the first time in a decade and got its best election result: around 15% of the votes. During the 2012 parliamentary elections, the DPS was a part of the European Montenegro coalition, together with the Democratic party of Socialists and the Liberal Party, which managed to secure 45.6 percent of the votes and thus 39 seats out of the 81 in parliament.
SDP President and Speaker of the Montenegro parliament Ranko Krivokapić is one of the founders of the party and has led the party ever since. SDP is member of Socialist International and associate party of Party of European Socialists (PES).
Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS)
Party leader: Milo Djukanović
The Democratic Party of Socialists, founded in 1991, is a successor to the former leading League of Communists. In 1992 the party supported the continued existence of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Until October 1997 the party was led by former President of Montenegro Bulatovic (President from December 1990 – October 1997). In January 1998 Milovan Djukanović was sworn in as President of the Republic, after beating his former ally Bulatovic – who was removed from the party – in the presidential race. In the same year he was elected Chairman of DPS and has led the party ever since. With Djukanović becoming the president in 1998, DPS took more and more distance from Milosevic. The pro-Serbian, pro-Milosevic element then broke away in 1998 to form a new party, the Socialist People’s Party. At the fourth party congress in 2011, the DPS reinvented its main goals, fighting for a democratic, internationally recognised and independent state of Montenegro. DPS holds such an independent Montenegro is the main condition for its development and Europeanization. Furthermore, other leading issues in its platform are tolerance and improvement of life standards for all citizens of Montenegro.
The DPS has won every general election in Montenegro since the first multi-party elections of 1990. In June 2012, the DPS-led government celebrated the official start of membership talks with the EU. Additionally, the party strongly favours joining NATO, despite the lack of popular support for this idea. Nominally a social democrat party, opposition parties accuse it of pursuing neo-liberal economic policies and of disregarding welfare safeguards. It is said to be one of the best organized parties in the region, with approximately 100,000 members, more than fifth of the total number of registered voters in the country. Polls show that, despite the existence of ethnic minority parties in Montenegro, many members of those minorities, such as Bosniaks and Albanians, prefer to vote for the DPS.
In the 2012 elections, the party ran as the leader of the European Montenegro coalition, which won 45.6 percent of the votes and thus 39 seats out of the 81 in parliament. Its leader, Djukanović is said to once again take the post of Prime Minister.
DPS is member of Socialist International and associate party of Party of European Socialists (PES).
Socialist People’s Party (SNP)
Party leader: Srdjan Milić
The SNP is the main pro-Belgrade party in Montenegro. Former federal Prime Minister Momir Bulatović, considered as a puppet of Milosevic, was party leader until February 2001. He was replaced by Predrag Bulatović. The SNP formed a pre-election coalition with the NS and DSS and within this coalition (11 seats) holds 8 seats in the parliament. After the 10 September 2006 elections, which turned out a big disappointment for the SNP, Predrag Bulatovic announced his resignation. Srdjan Milic was elected new party leader on 26 November 2006.
In the 2012 elections it won the support of 10.6 percent of the voters and thus secured nine seats in parliament.
Movement for Change (PZP)
Leader: Nebojsa Medojević
The PZP was founded by top economists and academics in September 2002 as a group seeking to promote Montenegro's EU accession and acceleration of reforms. On 15 July 2006, Nebojsa Medojević, Chairman of the Movement for Change modified the statutes of his organisation in order to turn it into a political party under the name, Movement for Change (PZP). The new party that will be running in ten municipalities in the local elections would like to have a government of experts responsible for the revision of privatisation and the adoption of a new Constitution. The party is not only part of the opposition to the present government but it also rejects the present system based, in its opinion, on unstable and faulty foundations, corruption, theft and ignorance.
During the 2012 parliamentary elections, the PZP ran in a coalition with the New Serb Democracy, forming the Democratic Front coalition. Democratic Front won 23.8 percent of the votes and 20 mandates
New Serbian Democracy (NOVA)
Party leader: Andrija Mandić
New Serbian Democracy or NOVA, is one of the newest political parties in Montenegro, formed on 24 January 2009 as a merger between the Serb People's Party and the People's Socialist Party of Montenegro.
New Serb Democracy is led by Andrija Mandić, leader of the former Serb List. Mandić sought to transform the Serb List into a more civic-oriented party, in order to boost the party's coalition potential, and even the dropping the Serb prefix from the newly formed party's name was considered. This idea was met with strong resistance during the merger talks.
The party won 8 seats in the 2009 parliamentary elections. In 2012 it participated in the Democratic Front coalition which won 23.8 percent and 20 mandates.
Positive Montenegro (PCG)
Party leader: Darko Pajović
One of the newest parties in the country, it was formed in May 2012 under the leadership of former green activist Darko Pajovic with the aim of showcasing new people and ideas. Positive Montenegro presents itself as a new, civic, centre-left force with a “clean past”. It aims to focus on socio-economic issues. It further strives for a more moderate rhetoric than some of the older parties, like the Movement for Changes, PzP, and it steers clear of quarrels over issues of national identity. The party advocates a socially responsible state, arguing for tight controls of natural resources and help for those who are struggling with the market economy.
It ran independently in the 2012 election and won 8.9 percent support and reserved seven seats in parliament.
The Bosniak Party (BS)
Party leader: Rafet Husović
Founded in 2006 to protect the interests of the Bosniak [Muslim] minority, which makes up 7.7 percent of the population, according to the 2003 census, it was formed out of a merger of four small parties: the International Democratic Union, the Party For Democratic Action, the Democratic Alliance of Bosniaks and the Party of National Equality. The party lent the DPS-led government significant support in the independence referendum of 2006. Since the Bosniak minority is concentrated in certain areas of the country, the party favours devolving powers to regions.
The BS has decided to run in the 2012 general election independently, winning 4.17 percent and three seats in parliament. It is said to provide majority support to the European Montenegro coalition.
The Democratic Union of Albanians (DUA)
Party leader: Ferhat Dinosa
Led by Ferhat Dinosa, it is one of four parties that aim to protect the rights of the country’s ethnic Albanian minority who make up 5,03 per cent of the population according to the 2003 census. It has one seat in parliament. The other three parties are Forca, the Democratic League of Montenegro and the Albanian Alternative. Each also has one seat in the Skupstina.
Liberal Party of Montenegro (LPCG)
Party leader: Andrija Popović
The Liberal Party of Montenegro was founded in 2004. It describes itself as a party that has been continually anti-war, liberal and standing for the idea of statehood since the beginning of the 1990s. The party was part of the European Montenegro coalition at the 2012 general elections and has one seat in the parliament.
Prime Minister of Montenegro
Milo Djukanović was born on 15 February 1962 in Nikšić. He graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Montenegro, Podgorica.
In 1979, while still in high school, Djukanović joined the Yugoslav Communist League. By 1986 he was a presidency member of the Socialist Youth Alliance's (SSO) Montenegrin branch as well as the presidency member of its federal-level parent organisation. As a member of the party’s various youth bodies he earned the nickname Britva ('Straight razor') for his direct, fiery and forceful rhetoric. Progressing steadily up the party ladder, by mid-1989 Djukanović became a member of the League’s highest decision making body, the Central Committee. He became the Secretary of the Presidency of the League of Communists of Montenegro, a post he held until the parties’ transformation into Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS).
In 1991 he was elected prime minister, becoming the youngest PM in Europe. On January 15, 1998 he was sworn in as President of the Republic, after winning the presidential elections. In the same year he was elected Chairman of DPS. Having led the Democratic Coalition for a European Montenegro to victory in the parliamentary election in October 2002, he was nominated PM Designate of Montenegro. On January 8 he was elected PM for his fourth term. In May 2006 he led the Block for Independent Montenegro at a referendum in which 55.5% voted in favour of Montenegrin independence. In the 2006 elections his Coalition for a European Montenegro (DPS and Social Democratic Party, SDP) won an absolute majority.
Although he chose to step down in late 2006, he remained president of DPS. He returned to office as PM after his coalition won the 2009 early elections with an absolute majority, securing him a sixth term in office.
In July 2003, the public prosecutor's office in Naples linked Djukanović with an organised crime network, mainly related to tobacco smuggling during the UN embargo on Yugoslavia. Djukanović denied the allegations as a "loathsome political trick", aimed at criminalising him and his country. The Italian authorities dropped all charges against him in April 2009.
In December 2010 Djukanović for the second time resigned his post as PM, saying he would still play an important role in the ruling DPS. Announcing his resignation he said "the conditions have been created for him to step down". However, he continued to lead the DPS during the 2012 parliamentary elections, securing a win for his party, and returned as a prime minister with the new cabinet in 2012.
Milo Djukanovic is married and has one son.
President of Montenegro
Filip Vujanović was born on 1 September 1954 in Belgrade. After he graduated from the University of Belgrade’s Law School, he worked in one of the city’s Municipal Courts, and later as an assistant at the Belgrade District Court. In 1981 he moved to Podgorica (at that time Titograd), working as a secretary and a lawyer at the District Court.
In 1993 Vujanović joined the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) and became Minister of Justice upon the invitation of then Montenegrin federal President Momir Bulatović. From 1996 to 1998 he was Interior Minister. During the 1997 DPS leadership conflict, Vujanović initially declared neutrality. He eventually sided with Djukanović who won the presidential elections in 1998.
In February 1998 Djukanović appointed Vujanović as the first Prime Minister of Montenegro, which was at the time still part of Yugoslavia. In November 2002, he became Speaker of the Montenegrin parliament. Vujanović ran in the December 2002 presidential elections and won a landslide victory, securing 86% of the votes. However, the election was ruled invalid as the turnout was less than 50%. The elections were held again in February 2003, with Vujanović winning 81% of the vote, but again turnout was below 50%. The elections were held for a third time in May, with the minimum turnout rule abolished, and Vujanović winning again with 63% of the vote. He became president on 19 May 2003. President Vujanović was a supporter of the Montenegro independence referendum, though PM Djukanović was much more involved in the referendum campaign. Vujanović’ messages often focused on Montenegro’s and Serbia’s ability to have a peaceful separation and post-independence cooperation.
At the 2008 presidential election, Vujanović ran for the second presidential term, and secured another five years in office in the first election round, winning 51.89% vote.
Filip Vujanović is married and has three children.
Speaker of the Parliament of Montenegro, leader of the Social Democratic Party
Ranko Krivokapić was born on 17 August 1961 in Kotor. He graduated from the Faculty of Law in Belgrade. In the late 1980s he became politically active and became a member of the presidency of Reform Forces of Yugoslavia, headed by the last Prime Minister of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Ante Marković.
He was elected a representative in the Montenegrin Parliament six times, the first time in 1989. Furthermore, Krivokapić was Montenegrin representative to the Parliament of Yugoslavia from 1993 to 1997. From 2003 to 2006, Krivokapić served as the Speaker of Parliament of Montenegro within the state union of Serbia and Montenegro (SCG). Following the ratification of an independence referendum held in 2006, he became the Speaker of Montenegro’s parliament.
Krivokapić is leader of the Social Democratic Party of Montenegro (SDP), a coalition partner of the Democratic Party of Socialists in the current government. Furthermore, he was one of the founders of the SDP in 1990.
Ranko Krivokapić has two children.
European Commission Serbia and Montenegro - Stabilisation and Association Report 2004
European Union’s external relation’s with Serbia and Montenegro
Commission Report 2012
UN International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
War Crimes Tribunal Watch
Institute for War and Peace Reporting on the Tribunal