European Western Balkans

Picula: It is in the interest of Montenegrin citizens that there are uncompromised people in the executive power

Tonino Picula; Photo: European Parliament

BRUSSELS – It is in the interest of Montenegrin citizens that there are uncompromised people in the executive power, and the European Union will cooperate with the elected because it cannot dispute the choice of citizens, said the EP rapporteur for Montenegro Tonino Picula in an interview for Vijesti.

Asked whether he was satisfied with the situation after the elections and the current events regarding the formation of the government, Picula answered that the European Union and its institutions are definitely not interfering in the process of forming a new Montenegrin government.

“I have already pointed out that the commendable democratic maturity shown by Montenegrin citizens with a respectable turnout in these difficult pandemic conditions. I also welcomed the formation of a new convocation of the Assembly and believe that we should continue in such a constructive and positive spirit,” Picula said and added that the latest stage of inter-party agreement on the structure and composition of the new government is encouraging.

Picula stated that certain differences between the coalition partners are understandable, considering that there has been no democratic transition of power in Montenegro so far.

Asked how much the expected electoral reforms can contribute to Montenegro’s progress towards the EU, Picula answered that Montenegro, despite the recorded shortcomings, has done a great job on the road to EU membership, which was recently honored by opening the last chapter in the negotiations.

“It would be wrong not to use the current institutional momentum to strengthen the political system. In addition, electoral reform is simply an indispensable part of the negotiation process. That is why I welcome the announcements that the judiciary and electoral reform will be a priority for the authorities,” EP rapporteur for Montenegro points out.

Commenting on the role of the opposition Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro (DPS) in politics and society, Picula states that he is not in a position to comment on internal events within any party, but that he wants to point out the fact that the DPS has regularly acknowledged the results, so the transition of power, despite some tensions in relations within the winning coalition, passes without drama.

“That is good and shows the will for the stability of institutions. I expect the DPS to be a responsible opposition and to reach a consensus with the new government on key issues of Montenegrin progress towards the EU,” Picula pointed out.

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