The parliamentary elections held in Montenegro on October 16 along with the recent referendum in Bosnia and Herzegovina may fall out of the mechanism of control over Southeastern Europe the Western super powers created at the turn of the century. Based on the political leadership of the former terrorists and Mafiosi bosses and sauced with anti-Russian ideology and financial aid from Brussels and Washington the “new world” has not taken root in the Balkans. At least, the results of the latest elections in Montenegro may shatter not only the country but also the region. The incumbent leadership of Montenegro still tries to put a brave face on the defeat claiming that they won the elections. Meantime, the facts suggest the opposite. By preliminary data (official data were not yet published at the moment the article was prepared), the pro-Western Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) of Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic that has been ruling the country for over 25 years received about 41% of votes and 35-36 of total 81 seats in the parliament. This was the worst indicator of the recent years for the ruling party. In the meantime, the opposition alliance of Democratic Front of Andriy Mandic, KLJUC ("The Key") of Miodrag Lekić, Democrats movement and the Social Democratic Party of Montenegro (SDP) of Ranko Krivokapić, is likely to get 39-41 seats in the parliament. This means that none of the parties, including DPS, can form the government without a coalition. Yet, the current political crisis in Montenegro will not end with the establishment of a ruling coalition, if it is formed at all. The incumbent prime minister’s rivals will do everything to bring him down. As soon as the official result of the elections is published, the political battles in the country will heat up again, as the official data will differ from the preliminary ones dramatically.
At present, in the country, there are two political forces almost equal in strength; the pro-Western circle supporting Prime Minister Djukanovic and the “pro-Russian” one. The later can be called so conditionally, as it seeks resignation of the prime minister and uses anti-NATO and pro-Russian rhetoric as its major antagonist ideology. Yet, it is not clear if the given political vector will be preserved if the current oppositionists come to power in Montenegro. At least, this opposition alliance is full of discrepancies that are so far ignored by everyone.
Mired in corruption and legal outrage Montenegro is suffering a domestic policy because of Djukanovic’s years-long government. Reportedly, some European countries have brought criminal charges against the incumbent prime minister, the boss of a local large Mafioso clan trading in smuggled goods and human organs, kidnaping and murdering people etc. As Djukanovic’s policy meets the interests of Brussels and Washington, they close eyes on all these crimes. Furthermore, Podgorica has already become a vassal of the Western world after signing a protocol to join NATO this May despite public protests (the country is anticipating the Alliance countries to ratify the protocol).
West’s support helped Djukanovic feel confident for quite long time until the latest elections, when his rivals have united against him. For instance, yet in summer, the Democratic Front could receive just 8%-12% of votes, according to public opinion polls. Besides, Djukanovic could use the administrative and financial resource, bribing members of election commissions and buying votes, frightening voters etc. During the latest elections, the incumbent prime minister forged electoral registers, which was not noticed by the EU observers. The electoral registers comprised “dead souls” and the persons having no right to vote, including children. After Interior Minister Goran Danilovic refused to approve the incorrect electoral registers, Djukanovic made deputy minister Dragan Pejanović to do it. On the voting day, there were numerous reports on voter bribery (up to 250 EUR per vote) and transportation of voters to polling stations from abroad. In the evening on October 16 when the vote count was launched, the Agency for Electronic Communication and Postal Services blocked all the messengers and SMS services “to prevent undesirable communication with users.” Besides, there was atmosphere of fear and political non-confidence in the country. On the eve of the voting, Djukanovic slammed the Democratic Front leader for anti-state policy and efforts to “destroy Montenegro” as well as for implementing Russia’s strategic goals that, as he claims, go far beyond bounds of Montenegro.
Referring to Attorney General, the local mass media reported that security services detained 20 citizens of Serbia who arrived in Montenegro and planned to take automatic firearms from secret places in the territory of the country and attack a police department, take some top officials hostage, kidnap Djukanovic and make a coup. However, this little helped Djukanovic and he has either to share the power with the opposition or try to retain his grip on power risking to dismantle the country. In any case, the political crisis in the country will deepen, as the opposition is waiting for the official results to start disputing the voting outcome.
Actually, the elections showed that years-long West-ward policy in Montenegro proved fruitless and the country has found itself on the same crossroad as many years ago. Djukanovic’s government that advocated for the European integration and refusal from the friendly relations with Russia has driven the country to deadlock. Unfortunately, neither the prime minister nor his western sponsors will give the power to the opposition. The current opposition will not lose its chance to come to power either. Such an uneasy situation will hardly be settled without the third parties that will interfere inevitably and try to settle their global problems at the expense of Montenegro. Anyway, that small country will soon turn into an instrument for dismantlement of the Balkans in favor of geopolitical actors and at the expense of ordinary citizens.
Yuri Pavlovets for EADaily