European Western Balkans

The most massive anti-government protest took place in Podgorica

Protests in Podgorica; Photo: Twitter/@citydiplomat

MONTENEGRO – Fourth weekly protest walk, titled “Resist – 97 000” took the place on Saturday evening in Montenegro’s capital – Podgorica.

Thousands of people once again gathered to call on President Milo Đukanović to resign over alleged corruption and abuse of office.

The first round of protests started after a publication of the video, eventually called the affair “Envelope”. Showing Duško Knežević chairman of Montenegro – based Atlas Group, a former ally of Đukanović handing over an envelope to the former mayor of Montenegro’s capital – Podgorica Slavoljub Stijepović, containing around 100,000 euros to fund a DPS (Democartic Party of Socialist) campaign election, the video started an earthquake on the Montenegrin political stage.

A series of protests in Budva, Zeta and Nikšić have also been held.

Demands include the resignations of Đukanović, his prime minister Duško Marković, the Supreme State Prosecutor Ivica Stanković, the Montenegrin chief prosecutor for organized crime, Milivoje Katnić and the general director the Montenegrin broadcaster, RTCG.

Demonstrators added another request to this list on Saturday which is addressed to Montenegrin opposition. Additionally, the demand includes boycotting all the elections and the work of the  Parliament until all invited do not resign.

While passing through the the city center of Podgorica, the protestors expressed their dissatisfaction the loudest, chanting “Milo, thief”, “We are the state”. They ended the
marsh in front of the Montenegrin broadcaster, RTCG.

The boycott of elections is supported by all parliamentarian opposition parties. According to SDP (Social Democratic Party) protests are justified. Additionally, they do not want to be part of any election process until the conditions for the fair and democratic elections are provided. The demands are also supported by United Reform Action (URA).

Socialist People’s Party, a former ally of ruling Democratic Party of Socialist (DPS), finds the protest demands acceptable, stating that it will support them if other parties do the same.

It is expected that Democratic Front presents its further opinion on the matter during the day. The party has already stated that it  supports the protests.

In the beginning of 2019, the president of Democratic Montenegro called all the oppositions parties to boycott the presidential and parliamentary elections until there are fair and honest atmosphere for the first fair elections in the history of Montenegro.

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