Montenegro: PM Djukanovic ‘Feels Safe’ After Alleged Coup Plot


By Dusica Tomovic

Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic said on Tuesday that he felt secure and insisted there was no need to “spread panic among the people” despite the Belgrade authorities’ arrest of alleged Serbian plotters against him.

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said on Monday that the Belgrade authorities have arrested several people who were following Djukanovic and planning illegal activities in Montenegro, but insisted they had no connection to the Serbian state.

Vucic said the people arrested in Serbia following the alleged attempted coup in Montenegro during its recent elections had nothing to do with politicians in either country, but had connections to a third country.

Djukanovic said the investigation in Serbia into the alleged coup plot confirmed what his ruling Democratic Party Socialist said during the election campaign, prior to and on election day on October 16 – that there was a plot to undermine security in the country.

He also claimed that foreigners were involved in the alleged plot.

“We have the strong involvement of foreign factors when it comes to the process of Montenegro’s parliamentary elections,” he said.

He said there were suspicions that “illegal money and methods that are beyond all regulations and outside of any legal system” had been used in the alleged plot.

Djukanovic echoed Vucic in saying that “so far there is no clear evidence” that any political parties were involved.

But he also said that it would be a coincidence if the plotters, who allegedly planned to seize parliament on election day and shoot at people, had nothing to do with the Democratic Front, a pro-Russian political alliance in Montenegro which is his main political opponent.

“This is political logic, but it needs time to get things legally prosecuted because it is a process that does not end in a day or in two or three,” he said.

Serbian PM Vucic said that while investigating the alleged plotters, police had seized uniforms and 125,000 euros, among other things, and informed the Special Prosecution in Montenegro.

On the day of the general election in Montenegro on October 16, a former of the Serbian Gendarmerie commander, Bratislav Dikic, was arrested and accused of planning the alleged coup.

The Montenegrin Prosecutor’s Office said last week that it had “reasonable suspicion” that a criminal organisation had been formed in Serbia and Montenegro with a plan to attack the police in front of the parliament once the results of Sunday’s election were announced, before taking over the assembly and declaring that the party of their choice had won the polls.

However, Dikic said on Monday that a Montenegrin policeman had “planted evidence” on him – a phone and keys to a warehouse containing weapons.

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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