Montenegro’s new ruling majority elects parliament speaker, nominates PM

By bne IntelliNews September 23, 2020

Montenegro’s new ruling coalition elected one of its political leaders, Aleksa Becic, as parliament speaker, and nominated one of its members, professor Zdravko Krivokapic, as the next prime minister at the constitutive session of parliament on September 23.

The new ruling coalition comprises around 20 small parties that were formerly in opposition. They agreed to work together following the August 31 general election when President Milo Djukanovic’s Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) that has ruled for three decades lost its political dominance for the first time.

After the election, three coalitions — For the Future of Montenegro, Peace is Our Nation and Black in White — decided to set aside their political differences and form the next ruling majority, pledging to continue on Montenegro’s EU membership path and to tackle corruption.

Krivokapic, 62, decided to enter politics in mid-2020, but became active in 2019, participating in anti-corruption protests and, subsequently, in protests against the controversial church law adopted by the outgoing DPS government.

The church law, according to its critics, may strip the Serbian Orthodox Church of hundreds of religious sites in Montenegro, including medieval monasteries and churches.

Two-thirds of Montenegrins are Orthodox Christian and the main church is the Serbian Orthodox Church. A separate Montenegrin Orthodox Church was set up in 1993 but has not been recognised by other Orthodox Christian communities to date.

Krivokapic was seen as independent as he was not a member of a political party before. However, as he was part of the pro-Russian and pro-Serbian coalition For the Future of Montenegro, some sceptics say he might give more significance to Montenegro’s good relations with the East rather than with the West.

On the other hand, he was seen as a compromise figure that was able to unite all parties in the new coalition despite their differences.

According to local media, Montenegro could have a new government within 20 days.

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