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Montenegrin lawmakers hold first session since August election

Montenegro's opposition on Wednesday nominated a potential new prime minister to head a governing majority aiming to oust President Milo Djukanovic's Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) after three decades in power.

Belgrade, 23 September 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Montenegro’s opposition on Wednesday nominated a potential new prime minister to head a governing majority aiming to oust President Milo Djukanovic’s Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) after three decades in power.

Zdravko Krivokapic, of the Democratic Front (DF), is expected to be backed by 41 of the 80 lawmakers for leader of the new multiparty coalition.

The move comes as parliament met for the first time since an election on August 30, when the DPS suffered its first defeat since a multiparty democracy was established in the former Yugoslavian state in 1990.

The new parliamentary majority comprises three coalitions held together by little other than the ambition to dislodge Djukanovic and the DPS from power.

Krivokapic’s DF party is pro-Serbia and Russia, while its partners insist that Montenegro must remain on its pro-Western course.

Krikovapic and other leaders from the new bloc said that they want to form a government that will strengthen the institutions they say have been weakened by decades of autocratic rule.

So far, however, their talks have been marked by bickering. Analysts say this could create new opportunities for the DPS.

Montenegro need reforms that “require far more expertise and cohesion” than so far seen in coalition talks, according to Boris Raonic, head of the non-governmental organization Civic Alliance.

The three sides “are likely to forge the government coalition,” but feuding may quickly open the door for fresh elections that would offer a chance for the DPS to return, he told state broadcaster RTCG.

Djukanovic has governed the tiny country since 1990. His critics accuse him of corruption, nepotism and ties to organized crime.

During his rule he has steered Montenegro away from its traditional alliance with Serbia and Russia to join NATO in 2017.

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