Montenegro Opposition Plans Wave of Protests

Montenegro’s strongest opposition alliance, the Democratic Front, is planning a series of anti-government rallies in September, calling on the government to resign and hold new elections.


Montenegro’s opposition Democratic Front is planning rallies across the country aimed at forcing out Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic – who has held power since 1991 – on September 27, it said. The alliance on Wednesdy said that only protests, as a legitimate form of democratic action, can lead to the collapse of the current government and the formation of a new, transitional government. The Front said the protests would continue until they achieved their goal – the resignation of the Djukanovic government, formation of a “technical” government and the organization of the “first ever free and fair elections” in Montenegro. The current government was elected on December 2012. It comprises Djukanovic’s Democratic Party of Socialists, the Social Democratic Party, and three ethnic minority parties. Regular general elections are not due till next spring. The alliance has called on all “open-minded and courageous Montenegrins”, and on all those who feel cheated and humiliated, and have had enough of poverty, injustice, corruption and crime, to join their protests. “We are convinced that the model of the opposition protests, which proved to be the best democratic response and alternative to the regime, can and must bring together all anti-government forces to work for the democratization of Montenegro,” the alliance said.

Demanding that the government crack down on corruption and improve the economic situation, the Democratic Front in May launched a campaign to promote mass anti-Djukanovic protests, visiting the least developed municipalities in the north. The alliance said that in discussions with citizens of different political, ethnic and religious affiliations it had received support to start protests against the “criminal and incapable” Montenegrin government. Montenegro is the only European country in which the government has never been replaced in a democratic election, the alliance added. In spring 2013, thousands of opposition supporters rallied for days in the capital, Podgorica, slating alleged vote-rigging in the presidential elections after the initial results declared that the ruling party’s candidate had won. The protests ended after the constitutional court rejected the opposition’s appeal against alleged electoral irregularities.


20 August 2015