The largest bloc in the Montenenegrin government on Monday dismissed a proposal to form a minority government, as the only way of keeping the stalled reforms process alive.

Call for Minority Govt in Montenegro Gets Cold Shoulder

Montenegrin Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic (left) and Deputy PM Dritan Abazovic (right) in the parliament. Photo: Government of Montenegro

The ruling majority blocs in Montenegro on Monday rejected the proposal of the small Black on White bloc to form a minority government as a way of overcoming the current political stalemate in the country.

On Monday, Deputy PM and leader of the smallest ruling bloc, Dritan Abazovic, proposed forming a minority government that would include all parties except the largest ruling coalition, the Democratic Front, DF, as well as the main opposition Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS.

The Front condemned the proposal as a betrayal of the political victory they had all won together in the parliamentary elections of August 2020.

“We need to reach a meaningful agreement of all ruling majority representatives on the principles, priorities and composition of the future government. Such a government should be open to minority parties as well, and have the full legitimacy that the existing one has not had for a long time,” the DF said.

Since the current government was elected in December 2020, Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic has been under almost constant pressure from the pro-Serbian “For the Future of Montenegro” bloc inside the DF to replace his cabinet of expert technocrats with politicians appointed by the ruling parties.

Krivokapic has insisted on a non-partisan cabinet, calling instead on the ruling majority blocs to support his reform plans.

When Black on White and the Socialist People’s Party on December 15 signed an agreement with the opposition Bosniak Party and two ethnic Albanian coalitions, other ruling blocs accused them of undermining the government.

But on Monday, Abazovic said a minority government would likely have the support of at least 49 MPs in the 81-seat parliament, calling it the only way to continue the reforms process in the country.

“I expect the response of political parties to this offer by the end of this week. If there is no solution to the situation, elections remain one of the solutions,” he said.

While opposition minority parties, the Social Democratic Party and the Social Democrats backed the idea of a minority government, media reported that Abazovic will also propose a platform of cooperation with all parties.

Reportedly, the new government will make the signing of a Fundamental agreement with the largest faith group, the Serbian Orthodox Church, negotiations on judiciary appointments, and the Open Balkan initiative,  cooperation initiative uniting Albania, Serbia and Montenegro, its priorities.

Ruling Democratic Montenegro MP Momo Koprivica warned Abazovic to avoid cooperation with opposition Democratic Party of Socialists led by President Milo Djukanovic, saying it would lead to the destabilization of reforms.

“Djukanovic lost power and nobody shouldn’t help him now. The electoral will of the citizens of Montenegro is a sacred thing and to play with it is very dangerous,” he said.

The current government led by Krivokapic was elected on December 4, 2020. by 41 votes from three coalitions – the pro-Serbian For the Future of Montenegro, Peace is Our Nation and Black on White. The three blocs won a slender majority of 41 of the 81 seats in parliament in August 2020, ousting Djukanovic’s DPS from power.

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