Problems Over Forming New Montenegro’s Government

The first problem in negotiations among Montenegrin winning coalition occurred on September 21, after an unsuccessful meeting between the leaders of the Democratic Front (DF) and the head of the Civil Movement Ura.

The DF leaders Andrija Mandic and Milan Knezevic could not make Ura’s Dritan Abazovic say who he did not want in a new cabinet from the opposition coalition parties and what his stand was about the abolishment of the disputed Law on Religious Freedom.

Mandic and Knezevic insisted they don’t want people that Abazovic proposed for the coalition government from DF and the coalition “For Better Montenegro”, but Abazovic refused to withdraw them. 

The three were joined by Joanikije, a Serbian Orthodox bishop, and the head of the Eparchy of Budimlja and Niksic. Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) is against the law, claiming it will deprive it of its property in Montenegro whose also Orthodox church is under the SPC jurisdiction.

Analysts agree the protests against the Law substantially contributed to the defeat of the President Milo Djukanovic’s Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) after they together ruled the tiny Adriatic republic for three decades.

After its victory, the opposition coalition pledged to at least amend the Law, keep all international obligations the previous regime committed to, not to withdraw the recognition of Kosovo’s independence and to remain a NATO member state.

Abazovic apparently is under pressure from both SPC and his Movement’s official who opposes the abolishment of the Law, adding the problem can postpone the election of the Parliament Speaker.

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