Milo Djukanovic, the President of Montenegro, whose party lost the recent parliamentary election in that country, said he accepted the will of citizens and would not obstruct the formation of the new government.
“The political competition announced that former government would be dealing with some kind of political engineering. From my very first statement after the results arrived I have been saying that we accept the will of citizens and would not obstruct the formation of the new government,” Djukanovic said speaking in N1’s Pressing with Amir Zukic.
“That would be the best answer of DPS (Djukanovic’s Democratic Party of Socialists) and the former coalition to the interests of Montenegro,” he added.
After a three-decade rule, DNS lost to the ‘For Montenegro’s Future’ rightist coalition, winning, however, 30 seats in the Parliament alone.
“We work in the interest of Montenegro at any price and by recognising the election results we took due account of Montenegro’s international reputation,” he underlined.
DNS is still the strongest party in the country, according to Djukanovic, who argued that what happened in the last election was something common in democratic societies.
“This was not a fall or someone’s personal fall, including me. I am the President elected in 2018 with 54 percent of votes and mandate lasting nearly three more years. There was no fall in the parliamentary election. After a 30-year rule, DNS and coalition partners won one mandate less than the new parliamentary majority,” he recalled.
As a “responsible opposition,” DNS would support everything that the ruling coalition does and which represents “the continuity of the battle for new values: for civic Montenegro, multiethnic democracy and European system of values in Montenegro,” added Djukanovic.
Montenegro's President dismissed allegations about business or political ties with the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic, calling the speculations as “nonsense.”
“No business or any other interests besides public interests from the position of the Prime Minister and President of Montenegro I had shared or share now with President Vucic or any other statesman I met,” he stressed.
Speaking of the role of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) in Montenegro, President Djukanovic said “there was no doubt” this institution played a role of a political actor in the recent campaign.
“The Serbian Orthodox Church has been continuously trying to destroy first the state and now the national and cultural identity of Montenegro in order to “serbianise” Montenegro while presenting itself as older than Montenegro is and as more deserving for the birth of Montenegro,” Djukanovic stressed.
He explained he supported the adoption of new Law on Religious Freedoms in his country as he believed that democratic Montenegro needed modern legislation in this field that would define the religious freedoms and legal status of religious communities.
“Very interesting, no other religious community had any objections to the law except SPC,” he added.
Asked if the law would be annulled now, Djukanovic replied that it was almost certain.
“This is an open issue in Montenegro and will have to be closed. Even if the law is annulled, there is no doubt that there will be a lively social dialogue and I am sure that the idea od civic, European and democratic state, where the Serbian Orthodox Church has a status of one of the religious communities and nothing more, will win,” he concluded.