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Polarization deepening, Montenegro in crisis: Marović

Jovana Marović, Executive Director of the Politikon network, a Podgorica-based think tank, a member of the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG) |Belgrade Security Forum

In the local elections held on Sunday, November 26, in four Montenegrin municipalities, the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) won the most seats, sources said.

Whereas Đukanović’s DPS will rule alone in the next four-year period in Mojkovac and Petnjica, it will have to seek for a coalition partner in Cetinje and Tuzi, where the party failed to acquire the absolute majority of votes.

Jovana Marović, Executive Director of the Politikon network, a Podgorica-based think tank, a member of the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG), noted that the results were not what was in focus. Rather, the elections were marked by an “exceptionally tense and brutal campaign and atmosphere during the Election Day culminating in Cetinje.”

The director pointed out at “physical attacks on members of the polling boards and party officials, as well as police and state prosecutor interventions”, along with the accusations of buying votes and criminal charges, to have marked the Election Day in Cetinje.

In addition, she warned that the country still faces a deep political crisis. Moreover, the absence of a dialogue between political opponents only exacerbates the situation.

“Montenegro has not improved the conditions and environment for elections, the country is in a deep political crisis, the polarization of society is deepening, while mutual accusations are part of everyday rhetoric.”

Lastly, she underscored that the election results notwithstanding, “Montenegro has held another election without a winner”.

For his part, Prime Minister Duško Marković stressed that the Democratic Party of Socialists achieved good results in all 4 municipalities, pointing out that “the results of the elections have shown that the European and democratic perspective of Montenegro is unquestioned, despite the fact that we faced serious challenges during the election campaign and that our political oponents were attempting to bring this key and strategic commitment of Montenegro into question.”