Milo Djukanovic On The Edge of Political Abyss
The dominant theme for the world media today undoubtedly became the events provoked by conflict in the Middle East. Fighting ISIS, European migration crisis and the reduction of oil prices don't leave newspaper front pages. But lately, the name of Montenegro, a small Balkan country appears in the world media sources more and more often.
Such popularity is due to the fact that for the fourth month the republic's population has been regularly taking to the streets demanding current government to resign. Citizens' dissatisfaction is caused by the unprecedented level of corruption of the current government headed by Montenegrin permanent leader - PM Milo Djukanovic.
Under his rule the country impoverished and turned into a criminal sanctuary. Nowadays the Montenegrin government no longer considers necessary to listen to its own people. Thus the crucial decision to join NATO was adopted by parliament totally controlled by Milo Djukanovic, despite the opposition's repeated demands to hold a referendum on the issue. This decision was the last straw in Montenegrins' cup of patience and forced them to go to rallies.
Currently, protest activity in Montenegro is growing. More and more often not only anti-government, but also anti-NATO slogans are heard during rallies. Rallies with demands for the resignation of Milo Djukanovic and for holding a national referendum on accession to NATO have become regular and collect a considerable number of participants. Recently, Amfilohije, the Metropolitan of Montenegro and Primorje spoke out with a demand to give people the right to make decisions on the accession to the alliance. He sharply criticized the authorities' actions and accused them of deepening the split in the Montenegrin society.
Taking into account the upcoming parliamentary elections, the degree of political tension will only increase. In these circumstances, Milo Djukanovic seeks to create the most convenient political situation for him. On his initiative, a vote of confidence to the current government will be held on January 25. PM's maneuver is quite understandable. The ruling coalition has 44 seats in parliament, and to keep the government in power it requires only 41 votes.
Representatives of the Social Democratic Party which is a part of the ruling coalition have brought certain intrigue in the process. The party is represented by five MPs and has already announced that it would vote against the current government. As a result, in theory, Milo Djukanovic will drop short of two votes. However, given the specifics of the Montenegrin political establishment, the current PM won't find it difficult to buy or using other means convince some MPs to vote for his government. Thus, the head of government can allow himself the use of administrative resource in the upcoming elections.
Representatives of the opposition coalition Democratic Front (DF) don't have any illusions either. DF leaders have announced that they will gather a protest rally underneath the walls of the Montenegrin Assembly (Parliament) on the day of the vote, and called on other opposition members to join them.
However, no one can be sure that the Montenegrin political arena won't suffer significant changes, and that Milo Djukanovic will only strengthen his position as the head of State. It is unlikely that Washington and Brussels will turn a blind eye to his criminal regime after he pulls the country into NATO. Alliance leaders will at least ask to discharge Milo Djukanovic, and most likely - will insist on his arrest.
The possibility of such "treachery" by NATO was recently spread by different media sources, saying that a trial over the authoritarian ruler of Montenegro will begin in about a year after the country's accession to the alliance. Information agencies cited snared documents of Elijah Dakovic, Montenegro's military representative to NATO. From these, it also follows that the place of Milo Djukanovic will be given to the acting Defense Minister Milica Peyanovich-Djurisic. Thus, Montenegro can expect big changes in the coming days.