The opposition parties have won a slender majority of 41 of the 81 seats in parliament in Sunday’s general elections in Montenegro, said the State Electoral Commission (DIK) on Monday. Such a result is a narrow triumph in Sunday’s elections of the opposition which, in the meantime, face a variety of potential stumbling blocks in forming a future government because of the different agendas and values of the three opposition blocs.
According to the DIK, President Milo Djukanovic’s Democratic Party of Socialist, DPS, won 35.12 per cent of the votes and 30 of the 81 seats in parliament. It has 40 seats with the support of its small traditional allies - but this is still not enough for a majority. His former partners among a bloc of ethic Croatian parties did not pass the election threshold.
The main pro-Serbian opposition “For the Future of Montenegro” coalition meanwhile won 35.5 per cent of the votes and 27 seats. With the support of another opposition coalition, “Peace is Our Nation”, which won 12.5 per cent of the votes and 10 seats, it would almost have a majority. The third opposition bloc, Black on White, won 5.5 per cent of the votes and four seats.
Albanian Dritan Abazovic, leader of the Black on White, has confirmed that he would back the pro-Serb and pro-Russian parties to form the new government. Abazovic said experts needed to be in charge of the new government if real changes were to be made.
“Montenegro deserves to be led by an experts’ government. We have to respect the will of the majority who wanted freedom,” Abazovic told his supporters as quoted by Birn on Monday.
The opposition blocs also invited the small ethnic Albanian and Bosniak parties - traditional Djukanovic allies that secured him majorities in parliament for decades – to join the new majority, saying no new government should be formed without them.
But it should be noted that Djukanovic and his party are still far from conceding defeat.
Addressing his supporters at DPS headquarters, Djukanovic on Monday reminded them that his bloc together won 40 of the 81 seats in parliament, and was still counting on its traditional allies among two small social democratic parties, which together won five seats, as well as on the five seats coming from the Albanian and Bosniak parties.
In the meantime Tonino Picula, European Parliament Rapporteur for Montenegro was quoted by Vijesti as saying on Monday that the new government has a lot of work to do and negotiations with the European Union should continue.
“I hope that the fact that the support that the EU enjoys among Montenegrin citizens is almost 70 per cent will be respected,” Picula stated.
As Picula pointed out, a positive attitude towards EU membership is the meeting point of different, even opposing political options in Montenegro. He assessed that it was clear that strong political polarization had motivated a large number of citizens to exercise their right to vote.
“This polarization is best seen in the almost equal results of the two leading coalitions, but also in the results of some new political options, as well as in the failures of some political options,” Picula stated.
Picula said that a lot will depend on the post-election period and the process of forming the new parliament and the new government. He said that the support of the EU institution will depend on the realization of the quality and rhythm of the already undertaken obligations.
Picula underlined that the EU will clearly support the commitment to continue the reform processes in Montenegro, but also the commitment to the policy of regional cooperation. /argumentum.al