Montenegrin government ousted after only 3 months in power

NEWS 20.08.2022 11:16
Source: SAVO PRELEVIC / AFP, Ilustracija

The government of Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic was toppled on late Friday night after Montenegro's 81-seat parliament held a no-confidence vote and 50 MPs voted against Abazovic, who had become the premier just three months ago.

The no-confidence motion was tabled by the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) led by Montenegrin President Milo Đukanovic. The DPS went into the Opposition party at the last parliamentary elections held in Montenegro on 30 August 2020, after it had been in power for 30 years.

Also, the nine MPs of another opposition party “the Democratic Montenegro” led by Aleksa Becic, a former parliament speaker, supported the no confidence vote, which tipped the balance in favour of the ouster of the Abazovic cabinet.

Until the voting of a new government or new elections, the Abazovic cabinet will play the role of a caretaker government.

Since the last parliamentary polls held two years ago, two governments have been replaced in this Adriatic country.

In early February this year, the cabinet led by Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic, perceived to be close to the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC),  was replaced. The government led by Abazovic was voted in the parliament in late April, when 46 lawmakers voted for it.

However, in early August, Abazovic signed suddenly a fundamental agreement between Montenegro and the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) in Podgorica.

Abazovic said then that he was honoured to have brought to completion a process that had lasted too long, recalling that the issue of the agreement with the SPC was opened in 2012 and that its signing put an end to an outstanding challenge.

Although the sponsors of the no-confidence vote against the Abazovic cabinet explain in their motion that the Abazovic government lost confidence as it failed to meet the main tasks to intensify the process of integration of this southeastern European country into  the European Union, the chief cause of its toppling was the conclusion of the document with the SPC and its leader Porfirije.

Earlier this month, the DPS of Montenegrin President Đukanovic, disputed the agreement and immediately announced that they would topple the government and that the next government would annul the agreement.

Among the opponents of the agreement are Montenegrin national associations and a part of the nongovernmental sector. They believe the agreement puts the SPC above the state and treats Montenegro's cultural and religious heritage as Serbian.

Despite opposition from a part of the public, which demanded public consultation on the agreement and its correction, Abazovic had rejected all suggestions and completed the signing procedure in just ten days.

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