European Western Balkans

Đukanović: EU mediators to resolve political crisis in Montenegro

Milo Đukanović; Photo: European Parliament

PODGORICA — President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović signed the newly adopted amendments to the Law on the President. Earlier on Friday, he expressed belief that there is a need for EU mediators’ involvement in resolving the current political crisis in the country, as he explained in an interview for MINA.  

According to Đukanović, even though he was against foreign interference in domestic political disputes during previous years, he now believes that the situation requires help from the EU. 

“I think that the depth of the problems we are facing in this phase of political life in Montenegro, with such arrogant disregard for the recommendations of relevant international institutions, inevitably conditions their resolution with the help of partners,” said Đukanović.

He criticized the parliamentary majority for missing the opportunity to elect a government after two previous governments lost parliamentary support and were subject to a vote of no confidence. Đukanović explained that he rejected the Parliament’s proposal to give Miodrag Lekić, the leader of Demos, the mandate to form a new government due to non-compliance with constitutional deadlines. Đukanović then proposed early parliamentary elections, but the Parliament rejected his proposal. 

The Montenegrin President expressed disbelief that the current parliamentary majority could solve the “institutional vacuum” and elect a government that would be able to handle the issues the country is facing. He accused the parliamentary majority of being unreliable and led by daily political interests. 

“That’s why I don’t think that such a majority can elect a government that would be able to solve the difficult problems in which the country has found itself in the meantime”, Đukanović pointed out in the interview for MINA.

He emphasized that the adoption of the amendments to the Law on the President went against the recommendations of domestic and international experts, as well as the international community. A government elected by this Parliament, according to Đukanović, could not count on any partnership and cooperation with European institutions and with any EU member.

According to Đukanović, the postponement of the Parliamentary Committee for Stabilization and Association session is an indicator of the EU’s attitude towards the Montenegrin executive. He expressed belief that more situations like this one will follow. 

“In my opinion, it is completely logical that, if you have a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU, if you have started into the negotiation process, if you reaffirm your commitment to being part of the EU on a daily basis and you are aware of the rules for becoming part of that prestigious community, you must be fully compliant with legislation of the Union,” Đukanović stated.

EEAS: Institutional crisis contributed to a slowdown of Montenegro’s accession negotiations

In order for Montenegro to progress on its European path, all political actors must support the stability and functionality of institutions and exercise restraint, it was emphasized in the statement of European External Action Service (EEAS) published on 16 December. 

“The recent political developments in Montenegro have provoked a deep institutional crisis, undermined the functionality of the country’s democratic institutions, and contributed to a slowdown of its accession negotiations. The latest amendments to the law on the prerogatives of the President contradict the opinion of the Venice Commission. The repeated failure to appoint members of the Constitutional Court illustrates the inability to build consensus on reforms,” it was said in the statement. 

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