Category Archives: Montenegro

Montenegro – Presidential election

In Montenegro, the presidential election was held on Sunday. There were only two candidates. They were the incumbent, Filip Vujanović, of the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) and Miodrag Lekić, who headed what is called the Democratic Front coalition, bringing together three opposition parties and other groups. He has a recent background as an ambassador and university professor. He is often classed as an independent.

The opinion polls had all shown that President Vujanović would be easily returned. He was first elected in 2003 and then re-elected in 2008. The 2007 Montenegrin constitution limits the president to two terms. However, because his first election occurred prior to the new constitution, he was deemed eligible to stand for re-election again.

The vote was extremely close and the result was highly contested. Almost immediately after the polls had closed both candidates claimed they had won. There was a delay in the official announcement of the result. However, yesterday the Electoral Commission officially declared that President Vujanović had been re-elected, winning 51.2% of the vote.

The initial OSCE statement has criticised some aspects of the election, but not the count.

Montenegro – New government, old Prime Minister

Following the parliamentary election in October, there is finally a new government in Montenegro.

The election returned the incumbent Coalition for a European Montenegro, which is dominated by the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS). However, the alliance was just short of an overall majority. It has since done a deal with the Albanian representatives, the Bosniak List and the Croatian Citizens’ Initiative. The official news agency reports that the government was approved by 44 votes to 26 with one abstention.

The real change comes with the prime minister. The new (or rather old) PM is Milo Đukanović. He was the PM from 1991-1998. He was then President from 1998-2002, before returning as PM as serving from 2003-2006 and then again from 2008-2010. He stepped down in December of that year under some pressure from the EU and other international organisations. He was replaced by Igor Lukšić. However, Đukanović is clearly the most powerful person in the system and he decided that he wanted to return. Therefore, Lukšić obediently stepped down, even though the DPS won the election and Đukanović has taken over again.

There are some fears that the formal return of Đukanović may harm Montenegro’s EU membership ambitions, but in any case further reforms are needed, particularly in the area of the rule of law, before the EU will agree to membership. Therefore, if Đukanović proceeds with these reforms, then membership should still be assured.

Montenegro – Legislative election

Pre-term parliamentary elections were held in Montenegro on Sunday.

The outgoing government was fighting the election under the banner of the Coalition for a European Montenegro and comprised the Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro, the Social Democratic Party of Montenegro and the Liberal Party of Montenegro. In addition, the Bosniak Party and the Democratic Union of Albanians had seats in the cabinet.

B92 is reporting the following result:

  • Coalition for a European Montenegro, 45.6% (39 seats)
  • Democratic Front, 23.8% (20 seats)
  • Socialist People’s Party, 10.6% (9 seats)
  • Positive Montenegro, 8.9% (7 seats)

According to Balkan Insight, the Bosniak party will win three seats, and the Croatian list, and two Albanian lists will take the final three seats.

So, the outgoing government is two seats short of an overall majority. It will most likely renew a coalition with one or more of the ethnic lists.

Montenegro – PM steps down

The prime minister of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović, has resigned. He claims that he is doing so independently of any external pressure, but he has been named in an Italian criminal trial regarding cigarette smuggling. On 17 December Montenegro gained the status of Official Candidate Country for EU membership and there has been speculation that Đukanović’s departure was part of the deal that facilitated this status. Đukanović has denied any such link.

Balkan Insight is reporting that Đukanović is going to remain as the leader of the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS). The party currently has 33 seats in the 76-seat parliament and is part of an electoral coalition that has 47 seats in total. The government is a four-party coalition with the DPS as the largest party.

Đukanović has suggested that the Finance Minister, Igor Lukšić, should be the new prime minister. The DPS has to approve the proposal, but the president, Filip Vujanović, officially nominates the prime minister.

Montenegro – Local elections

In Montenegro local elections were held on 24 May in 14 municipalities, including the capital, Podgorica.

The government parties are the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Croatian Civic Initiative and the Democratic Union of Albanians. The opposition is led by the Movement for Changes, the Socialist People’s Party and the New Serb Democracy.

For these elections, the opposition formed a coalition called A Better Montenegro. Therefore, it hoped to do well, particularly when the governing parties were in competition with each other in some municipalities.

I cannot find a link to the Electoral Commission, but there are a couple of news reports. According to Balkan Insight, the DPS and its governing party allies maintained an absolute majority in seven municipalities – Bar, Berane, Bijelo Polje, Danilovgrad, Rožaje, Šavnik and Žabljak. The opposition won Pljevlja and Pluzine. In Podgorica the DPS and its smaller allies won 28 of the 57 seats on the council, while the opposition coalition won 24. The SDP won five seats. Even though the SDP is in government (or perhaps because of it), the opposition has said that it would like to talk with the SDP about forming a majority.

Montenegro – Government survives no-confidence vote

In Montenegro the government has survived a vote of no-confidence.

The government, which was elected in March 2009, is a four-party coalition comprising the Democratic Party of Socialists (35 seats in parliament), the Social Democratic Party (9 seats), the Croatian Civic Initiative (1 seat) and the democratic union of Albanians (1 seat). So, by my calculations it has the support of 46 seats in the 81-seat parliament.

According to Balkan Insight, the opposition party, led by the Movement for Changes (6 seats) and supported by the Socialist People’s Party (16 seats) and the New Serb Democracy (8 seats), tabled a motion of no-confidence citing the “unsatisfactory security situation in Montenegro and the inefficiency of state institutions in the fight against organised crime”.

Anyway, the government’s majority was stable, winning 47 votes in the debate.

I have not been able to find any academic journal report on the 2009 Montenegro election, but there is, obviously, a Wikipedia site as well as a brief report from the Fondation Robert Schuman.

Montenegro – Parliamentary election

Montenegro held early parliamentary elections yesterday. The term of parliament was shortened on 27 January and an election called the next day.

The election has returned the coalition headed by Milo Djukanovic, who has been either president or head of government since 1991!

Southeast European Times reports that Prime Minister Djukanovic’s Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) with its coalition partners – the Social-Democratic Party, Bosniak Party and Croatian Civil Initiative – have won 47-49 of the 81 seats in parliament with Balkan Insight reporting that the coalition won just over 50% of the vote.

South East European Times also reports that the Socialist People’s Party won approximately 16.2%, the New Serbian Democracy party about 9% and the Movement for Changes around 6.1%.

Montenegro – Elections in March?

The Constitutional Law that accompanied Montenegro’s 2007 Constitution specified (Art. 14) that parliamentary elections had to be held before the end of 2009, this despite the fact that parliament’s term is four years and that the last parliamentary election was held in September 2006.

Southeast European Times is now reporting that Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic has hinted that elections will be held quite early in 2009. In fact, Wikipedia already has a page dedicated to the election that it states will be held on 29 March. The source of the story, according to Southeast European Times, is the newspaper Vijesti.

In April 2008 Filip Vujanovic, from the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), was elected president. (See previous post). Prime Minister Djukanovic is also from the DPS. The government is mainly a coalition of the DPS and the Social Democratic Party of Montenegro (SDP), with one representative from the Democratic Union of Albanians. The report in Vijesti states that both the DPS and the SDP are in favour of early elections.