Montenegro: Opposition Protest Calls For Free Elections


By Dusica Tomovic

Hundreds of anti-government protestors gathered in front of the Montenegrin parliament on Sunday carrying Montenegrin and Serbian flags and demanding free and fair election.

Montenegro’s main opposition alliance, the Democratic Front, said that the protests were organised for those who do not believe that the “captured institutions can achieve something.”

The Front called on other opposition parties to join the protest and demanded the formation of a transitional government that will organize elections.

All opposition parties except for the Front in November agreed to crisis talks with the speaker of parliament, Ranko Krivokapic, on condition that elections are held under new electoral legislation by next autumn. The deadline for reaching an agreement is Monday.

Protesters were shouting “Milo thief” while Janko Vucinic, leader of the Workers Party, called for the arrest of veteran Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, who has been in power since 1991. They set up dozens of tents in a park opposite the parliament building.

One of the opposition leaders, Nabojsa Medojevic, said the protesters would again set up tents again and camp in from of the parliament, to fight for freedom as “the power of the dictator in not in his body armour.”

Amid increased police presence, the anti-government protest in the capital Podgorica ended without incidents.

Joined by several student and human rights organizations, the Front began 24-hour demonstrations in September, demanding the creation of an interim government and resignation of Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, who has held power since the early 1990s.

The protest first turned violent on October 17, when police fired tear gas to disband the crowds. More violence broke out on Saturday 24, after opposition MPs attempted to enter the parliament but were prevented from doing so by police.

During the clashes between protesters and police, three opposition MPs we arrested. Two have been accused of a coup attempt.

Opposition leaders have called for a new rally on Wednesday, December 23, against “the deception of the public broadcaster RTCG.” The rally on Wednesday will be 10 in a row of anti-government protests.

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (formerly the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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