Montenegrin opposition parties set to join government

By bne IntelliNews April 26, 2016

Montenegro’s ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), led by prime minister Milo Djukanovic, and several opposition parties have agreed on special legislation that should allow the opposition’s entry into the government and secure fair elections this autumn, broadcaster RTCG reported on April 25.

The agreement came following months of difficult negotiations and is expected to be discussed by the parliament later this week. If the plans go ahead, they will help to prevent political unrest around the autumn parliamentary election.

RTCG reported that the legislation has been tabled on April 25 by two opposition MPs, Dritan Abazovic and Goran Danilovic.

Abazovic told RTCG that, following the approval of the special legislation, a long-expected agreement between DPS and the opposition parties should be signed on April 26.

In January, Djukanovic invited opposition parties to join the government in his concluding speech during a three-day debate on a confidence vote, requested by the cabinet. Djukanovic then said that he was ready to provide opportunities for representatives of the opposition to take ministerial and deputy-ministerial positions in key ministries, with the aim of ensuring transparency during the general election in autumn 2016.

Following the January 27 confidence vote, won by Djukanovic, the DPS and representatives of almost all opposition parties in the parliament initiated a series of meetings to discuss the proposal. The only party that refused to participate was the Democratic Front (DF), which has boycotted the work of the parliament since September and also refused to participate in the confidence vote. The talks failed in February, but were resumed with some opposition parties a month later.

The opposition parties are expected to get five ministerial seats along with several deputy-ministerial positions. They should also get control of several key public institutions and companies, including the employment agency, the Investment Development Fund, and the tax and customs authorities.

According to unconfirmed information from TVCG, quoted by RTCG, a SDP member will take over the deputy prime ministerial position. Earlier in April, reported that most likely this will be the party’s leader, Ranko Krivokapic, who is currently the parliament speaker. However, according to TVCG, the position will be taken either by Rifat Rastoder or Ramo Bralic, both of the SDP.

The leader of Demos, Goran Danilovic, will head the internal affairs ministry, while the leader of SNP, Aleksandar Damjanovic, will become finance minister. An SNP member should also head the social affairs ministry. It was still unclear who will become agriculture minister, but most likely the position will be taken by a representative of Pozitivna Crna Gora.

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