The opposition success in securing a wafer-thin victory in the election in Montenegro on Sunday. Will it last.
According to preliminary results, President Milo Đukanović of Montenegro’s ruling coalition, which has been in power for 30 years, did not win a majority of Parliamentary seats in yesterday’s election that drew massive turnout.
The leader of the For the Future of Montenegro opposition coalition, Zdravko Krivokapic, announced that the new government’s first move will be to repeal the prejudiced “Law on Religious Freedom” that was passed in December giving the state the authority to confiscate property from the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro.
The three coalition groupings a slim combined majority, with 41 seats in the 81-member parliament, and leave the DPS and its minor partners in control of the remaining 40 seats.
Montenegrin opposition takes majority of Parliament seats, promises to repeal anti-Orthodox law.
Preliminary results have hinted at the tiniest, one-seat majority for a trio of opposition alliances who have vowed to unseat the small Adriatic country’s perennially ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS).
Big, boisterous crowds have gathered in downtown Podgorica and other cities to mark a milestone for parties opposing President Milo Djukanovic, who has been president or prime minister for nearly 30 years but whose stark challenge to the Serbian Orthodox Church last year cost him support in this heavily Orthodox Balkan country of some 620,000 people.
The leaders of the three opposition coalitions the pro-Serb and pro-Russian For The Future Of Montenegro, the pro-Serbian church but pro-EU Peace Is Our Nation, and the liberal and civic-oriented Black On White — are eager to seize the momentum from the election results.
They have begun talks on forming a government to lead Montenegro out of the coronavirus pandemic and a morass of corruption toward greater prosperity.
But some experts warn that ethno-national and other divides in Montenegro may have been exacerbated by last week’s vote, and there are still many factors that could preempt any chance for the anti-Djukanovic forces to govern.