European Forum

Big win for the ‘European Montenegro’ coalition

Mon 30 Mar 2009 On 29 March late in the evening the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Milovan Djukanovic, claimed victory in the early parliamentary elections. After most of the votes have been counted, the ‘European Montenegro’ coalition, headed by the Democratic Party of the Socialists (DPS), won 50,5% of the votes, which means the coalition will have 49 seats in the 81-seat parliament. With this victory the pro-European coalition, further consisting of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Croatian Civil Initiative (HGI) and Party of Bosniacs (BS), has a new four years mandate in which EU membership is the highest goal.

Addressing the Montenegrin people and the crowd present at the headquarters of DPS, Djukanovic stated that “the voters have chosen for a safe life, economic prosperity and a European future.” In addition, the elections results have shown the inability of the divided opposition to offer an alternative to the people of Montenegro. The Socialist People’s Party (SNP) came in second with 16% of the votes, whilst New Serbian Democracy got 9% and Party for Changes (PzP) 6%. Other parties have not met the threshold, while 3 seats in the parliament are reserved for the Albanian parties.

Obviously unsatisfied with the results, some leaders of the opposition parties pointed the finger to the voters by arguing that the people have chosen the government they deserve. Leader of the PzP, Nebojsa Medojevic, who lost 5 seats in the parliament stated that “the citizens’ of Montenegro did not want to listen to us and they gave the rudder to the same captain to lead this ship towards a iceberg. I do not think we are responsible for what is going to happen.”

With the tremendous win in his pocket, PM Djukanovic gave a lecture to his political opponents: “Rejecting the uncivilised and insulting tone of communication (used by the opposition parties) in the Montenegrin political scene, the voters have placed and degraded these parties to a position they deserve in reality. Once more Djukanovic, who has been once President and will be PM for the fifth time, showed his political skills and ability to get the voters behind him. It seems that this time he scheduled the elections, by shortening the term of his government, just on time as it is expected that the global economic crisis will have an great negative impact on the economy of the country, which could result in decrease of his popularity.

The representative of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, that monitored the elections in Montenegro stated that the “parliamentary elections in Montenegro met almost all international commitments and standards, but the process again underscored the need for further democratic development.”

Source: Vijesti, Radio Slobodna Evropa, NRC and OSCE
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