March 19 () –
The president of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, faces a difficult test of resistance with a view to a third term in the presidential elections whose first round begins this Sunday and which once again pit the European bloc represented by the president against some candidates closer to Moscow.
Dukanovic, leader of the Democratic Party of Socialists (PDS), has established himself as a bastion of pro-Europeanism against rival candidates such as Andrija Mandic of the eurosceptic Democratic Front, who has spoken openly of closer relations with Russia and Serbia.
The president appears at a general moment of weakness. After thirty years in power, his PDS party suffered a painful defeat in the 2020 legislative elections in favor of an unstable coalition of three opposition blocs.
The political crisis has been degenerating to the point that Djukanovic ended up dissolving Parliament last Thursday in an attempt to unravel the crisis and the political blockade in the country due to the lack of consensus to form a new government, after the expiration of the three-month deadline for prime minister-designate Miodrag Lekic of the liberal-conservative Democratic Alliance (DEMOS) to attempt to form an executive.
In fact, since the 2020 legislative elections, no candidate has managed to obtain a majority to form a stable Executive that will last more than three months. In August, the Montenegrin Parliament approved a motion of no confidence against the government of Dritan Abazovic, who continues to serve as head of the Executive today despite his defeat.
The fall of Abazovic, from the small environmental party URA, occurred precisely after Djukanovic’s loss of support. Since then, the political crisis in the country has only worsened and stood in the way, until the relatively comfortable outbreak of the crisis, of Montenegro’s accession to the European Union.
It is taken for granted that Djukanovic will go to the second round on April 2 in the absence of knowing his rival among the other six candidates who are running for election. Along with Mandic, others such as Aleksa Becic, leader of Democratic Montenegro, or Jakov Milatovic, of the Europe Now movement, also stand out.