Montenegro and European Union

First in a series of a local elections in Montenegro have been successfully boycotted by all major opposition parties. Turnout in city of Kotor was only 40,75%, of which 11,14% could be considered very problematic. That is because 6,2% votes were not valid, while 4,94% of voters voted by mail. Both facts are showing big irregularity, especially on such a small turnout. Opposition claims that those are people who were litteraly „forced“ and „dragged“ to vote, since ruling regime uses already established measures of threats and pressures. Even in such undemocratic situation, the winner candidate of the ruling regime won only around 29.5% of all registered voters (71% of those who turned out).

Opposition agreed that boycotting could be the only way to attract the attention of European and other international factors to put pressure on Montenegrin regime to organize a free and fair elections for the first time.

“Ruling regime cannot be beaten on the elections because they use all institutions of the state, complete public finances and all Government programs, in order to make their victory smooth”, said Nebojsa Medojevic, leader of Movement for Changes.

He stated that “the key political problem in Montenegro is legally and constitutionally unsustainable position of Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, who is officially accused for criminal charges at Italian courts, for distribution of cigarettes and money laundering. (read here his controversial political biography).

Consequence of this is reduce of Government capacities, corruption on highest levels, insufficient police capacities, politically controlled/dependent judicial branch, attacks on media and journalists, etc”.

Originally, the idea of boycott was promoted by the prominent opposition politician Slavko Perovic, on his influental blog. Mr Perovic is leader of Liberal Alliance of Montenegro (first opposition party in the country), which has „frozen“ its political activities in March 2005, explaining that Montenegro lacks basic democratic principles which would ensure normal and independent functioning of an opposition party. Last election of March 2009, proved that opposition indeed doesn’t have even smallest opportunity to make any progress as ruling party won more than absolute majority again (in some towns more than 65%). Independent analysts believe that changes are impossible since ruling party holds the monopoly in all mechanisms of the State, which are remained habits from communist times. (read here the article “Why victory is impossible for the opposition“)

Mr. Djukanovic has been a political leader in Montenegro for nearly 20 years, and passed a long raod since then (already served four terms as Prime Minister and one term as President of Montenegro. Now – 2009, he again became Prime Minister for the fifth time). He started as one of the leaders of the Communist Party, then a coalition partner of Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia, and later switched from pro-Yugoslav option into leading independence movement of Montenegro. (see a video with english subtitles about his role in Balkan wars). Recently, a series of articles appeared in many international and regional newspapers, about „possibly one of Europe’s largest smuggling operations in recent years – a multi-billion dollar operation involving the Italian Mafia and the tiny country of Montenegro.“ (read more…)

Serbian media B92 also reported about new accusations against the Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, made by Nebojsa Medojevic, one of the leaders of opposition.

Medojevic, who has announced that the opposition in that country, including his Movement for Change, would unite, told B92 that there was evidence that Djukanovic in 2005 called on his immunity in order to avoid a cigarette smuggling and money laundering investigation launched by the Italian Ministry Of Justice.

He also claims that the investigation of the murder of the Croatian publisher and journalist Ivo Pukanic “will lead to Montenegro”.

“The charges brought up in Zagreb read that Pukanic was murdered because he had been writing about the criminal groups and mafias in the region. The most powerful criminal organization in the Balkans today is the one operating in Montenegro. Not because it is powerful by itself, but because the state and state services are behind it, and because it has enormous capital,” Medojevic claims.

“If the cartel is ready to spend EUR 100mn to finance the biggest shopment of cocaine this year in both Europe and the world, than one can only imagine how powerful they are,” he continued.

“Mister Pukanic was one of the witnesses in the trial in Bari and he is not the first witness to be liquidated, nor is he the first journalist to be killed for writing about the Tobacco Mafia. Dusko Jovanovic was also murdered in Montenegro,” stated Medojevic, in reference to the slain editor of Podgorica’s daily Dan.


To read full report about current political situation in Montenegro, please click here.

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