Can there be a new government without elections in Montenegro and who will form it
After the vote of no confidence in the Government of Prime Minister Dritan Abazović in Montenegro, some political entities demand the holding of extraordinary parliamentary elections, while others consider the formation of a new Government.
For the latter, there are several options – from a party government with a concrete political program to a transitional government whose task would be to organize elections.
The formation of a new government is a more realistic option than new elections, although all the combinations that are currently in play seem difficult to achieve, says Montenegrin activist and columnist Stefan Gjukic for Radio Free Europe.
“It is more realistic to form a new government, no matter how impossible it seems now,” he says.
On August 20, the Assembly of Montenegro voted the motion of no confidence against the Government of Abazović.
50 of the total 81 deputies voted for this motion.
Abazović’s government will operate with a technical mandate until the election of the new government.
Who would form the new Government with whom?
The Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) of Milo Djukanović, which initiated the fall of the Abazović Government, has sought to reach an agreement on the organization of extraordinary parliamentary elections.
“After two bad experiments from 2020 [Qeveria e ekspertëve dhe Qeveria e pakicës]we will have to agree on who will prepare these elections, to finally ensure a European government”, said the DPS, adding that they are ready for a constructive dialogue with all parliamentary parties.
The pro-Serbian Democratic Front (DF) expects the parliamentary majority parties, resulting from the August 2020 elections, to reach an agreement on the formation of the new Government.
The then parliamentary majority was made up of the parties gathered around the DF, the Democrats of Aleksa Bečić, the Civic Movement URA of Abazović and the Socialist People’s Party (SNP).
They have defeated the DPS with only one more mandate in the Assembly, forming the Government led by Zdravko Krivokapiq in December 2020.
This Government functioned until February of this year, when it was overthrown at the initiative of the then Deputy Prime Minister, Dritan Abazović.
However, between the URA and the SNP on one side and the Democrats on the other side, a fierce political conflict has opened, because the Democrats have voted for the fall of the Abazovic Government.
Before the vote of no confidence in the Assembly, Abazović ordered his former partners “not to call him to the negotiating table” after the overthrow of his Government.
A series of communiqués have been published in the public opinion, through which these parties accuse each other of betrayal, of cooperation with the DPS and reject the possibility of agreeing on the creation of a new government.
The smaller parliamentary parties, on the other hand, demand an urgent agreement on the date of the elections and on the Government that would prepare them.
Transitional government as an option
The President of the Association of Lawyers of Montenegro, Branislav Radullovic, says that after the fall of the Abazovic Government, there are two possible options on the table – that the Abazovic Government continues to function with a technical mandate until the new elections or that a transitional government.
“The question is whether the parliamentary majority that has voted no confidence in the existing Government will allow the mandate holder with a technical mandate and the deputy prime minister from this position to go to the elections… or will they agree to form a neutral government, which would enable all subjects to be equal in the electoral process”, says Radullović.
Abazović’s government has been ousted by Djukanović’s DPS, Aleksa Bečić’s opposition Democrats, several smaller civic parties and some minority parties.
Radullovic says that the technical government would certainly have the support of two-thirds of the deputies, but it would not include party leaders.
“That government would not be a classic, programmatic government. All parties would delegate to it a certain number of ministers, party technocrats, with a neutral prime minister. That government would keep the system functional, would ensure the neutrality of the elections. It would create the conditions for the next Government to be stable, programmatic, and lead Montenegro to the European Union”, says Radullovic.
The gathering of the old majority in the new Government is not realistic
Djukic says that it is unrealistic to expect the formation of a new-old majority, which would consist of the winners of the August 2020 elections: DF, Democrats and URA.
“The leaders are very arrogant and this is seen through vindictive political movements in the relations between the Democrats and the URA. Initially, URA initiated the removal of the leader of the Democrats, Aleksa Beçić, from the post of Speaker of the Assembly, and now the Democrats are retaliating with a vote of no confidence in the Government of Abazović,” says Gjukić.
Western partners are waiting for a solution to the crisis
Messages have been sent from all important international addresses for overcoming the existing political crisis in Montenegro.
The rapporteur of the European Parliament for Montenegro, Tonino Picula, has said that Montenegrin politics must decide whether it will continue in the direction of European integration or become an “expendable commodity” of Russian and Serbian interests in the region.
“Citizens of Montenegro continue to clearly support EU membership, which should receive support in the elections… Such an Assembly and Government would certainly have the support of the European Parliament,” Picula wrote on Twitter.
After the fall of the Abazović Government, the US State Department has said that it expects Montenegro to quickly form a new government or announce extraordinary parliamentary elections.
Asked by VOA whether the United States would support DF participation in a possible new government, a State Department spokesman said the United States does not consider DF a partner because this entity ” does not support European values”. /REL