Montenegro’s ethnic parties ready to back opposition if it gets mandate for government

By bne IntelliNews November 6, 2016

The parties representing the Bosniak and Albanian minorities in Montenegro could join a coalition with the opposition parties and form a government without the participation of the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), if President Filip Vujanovic decides to give them the mandate, broadcaster RTCG reported on November 5.

This news came as surprise as all the ethnic parties have already started talks with the DPS on future coalition and so far, have traditionally backed the party. Since the DPS, which has ruled Montenegro since independence in 2010, and the group of opposition parties have almost equal numbers of MPs in the new parliament, either side could form a majority with the ethnic parties. It will therefore be up to Vujanovic to decide to whom he will give the mandate to form a government. 

Earlier in November, local daily Dan reported that several opposition parties and formations – the Democratic Front (DF), the Kljuc coalition, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Demokratska Crna Gora - which will have a total of 39 MPs, will ask Vujanovic to give them the mandate to form the new government.

On the other hand, DPS, which took the highest number of votes in the October general election (41.41%), will have 36 seats in the new parliament and already has started negotiations with potential allies – the Social Democrats (SD) and the ethnic parties. DSP’s nominee for Prime Minister – Dusko Markovic – has repeatedly said that the negotiations were going very well and that the party would form a government quickly with the support of those parties.

However, on November 5 RTCG reported that the Bosniak party has showed readiness to join coalition with the other opposition parties, giving them the needed 41 MPs in the 81-seat parliament. The coalition of Albanian parties has also said it is expecting an official proposal from the opposition.

“Based on our common desire for peaceful changes, for civil and European Montengro, the common opinion is that there is no hurdle to form a government that would be result of an agreement between the Bosniak and other [ethnic] minorities’ parties with the civic opposition,” RTCG quoted two of the parties from Kljuc coalition - Demos led by Miodrag Lekic and Reform Action (URA) - as saying in a joint statement following a meeting with the leaders of the Bosniak party.

Meanwhile, the coalition of Albanian parties said it was waiting for an official invitation from the opposition parties to start talks on a possible coalition.

The same opposition parties have said they would not attend the inaugural session of the parliament scheduled for November 7. The DF has also asked the constitutional court to annul the decision of the state election body, DIK, to announce the final results of the election. The DF claimed that the conditions on election day did not allow citizens to freely express their will.

The Vujanovic said on November 5 he will give the mandate after meeting all political parties that will be represented in the parliament. Vujanovic also said he would start consultations with the parties immediately after the inaugural session of parliament.

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