Montenegro’s opposition DF anti-government protests lose support

Montenegro’s opposition DF anti-government protests lose support
By Dents Koseva in Sofia November 16, 2015

Some 1,500 people participated in the latest anti-government protest in Montenegro, organised by the opposition Democratic Front (DF) on November 15, news service CM reported. Unlike the previous two demonstrations, which attracted several thousand people, the latest protests remained peaceful.

At the previous two demonstrations, organised by the DF on October 24 and October 18, protesters provoked clashes with the police. After the October 24 clashes, two DP leaders – Andrija Mandic and Slaven Radunovic –were arrested and accused of provoking the violence.

On November 15, participants formed a human chain around state institutions. The motto of the demonstration was “You are surrounded”.

DF’s demands are unchanged since the beginning of the protests on September 27: the resignation of the government led by Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, the appointment of an interim cabinet, and early elections.

The DF comprises three opposition parties: the New Serb Democracy (NOVA), Movement for Changes (PzP) and Democratic Party of Unity (DSJ). Its main goal is to overthrow Djukanovic’s ruling Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro (DPS), which has been in power since 1991.

A poll conducted by Damar polling agency prior to the protests showed that just 11.5% of Montenegrins believe that protests are the opposition’s most effective political tool. Most of those polled, 29.6%, think that the most effective political tool is participation in elections.

Another poll, conducted by the Ipsos Strategic Marketing agency in mid-October, showed that only 8% of the population supports DF. Another poll conducted by CEDEM in the first week of November showed that DF had just 8.7% support.

However, DF insists that it will continue trying to oust Djukanovic, who has been in power almost continuously since 1991, when he became the youngest prime minister in Europe at the age of 29. He later held the position of president (between 1998 and 2002) and was again prime minister from 2003 to 2006, 2008 to 2010, and from December 2012 to present.

DF has called for another protest rally on November 28, in the city of Niksic in central Montenegro.