Montenegro Opposition Criticises Ambassador’s Condemnation of ‘Fascist’ Election Violence

French ambassador in Montenegro Christain Thimonier (M) and PM Dritan Abazovic (L) in Podgorica. Photo: Government of Montenegro

On Sunday, Thimonier told the daily Vijesti: "This kind of fascist aggression is against not only European values but also basic human values. Attention should be paid at all levels in all parties to prevent hate speech that opens up space for such unacceptable behaviour."

He spoke out after on Friday a group of pro-Montenegrin protesters in Cetinje attacked Milatovic, trying to prevent him from attending an electoral convention in the old royal capital. Police questioned eight persons for the attack on the candidate.

However, the ambassador's comments were criticized by the mayor of Cetinje Nikola Djuraskovic and by state president Milo Djukanovics's office, who accused him of insulting the citizens of Cetinje.

The opposition pro-Montenegrin Social Democratic Party, the Social Democrats and Liberal Party called on Thimonier to be more careful with his public statements.

"With these comments, Thimonier went beyond the framework of generally accepted diplomatic rhetoric. In any country, this kind of impropriate comments would put the ambassador in an unenviable position, or he would be interviewed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the host country," tthe opposition Democratic Party of Socialists MP Andrija Nikolic said on Monday.

The US and UK ambassadors in Montenegro, Judy Rising Reinke and Karen Maddocks, on Saturday urged the authorities to secure the safety of all presidential candidates, while EU delegation ambassador Oana Cristina Popa said violence should not be tolerated in the electoral process.

Responding to the critics, Thimonier said he was not commenting on the citizens...

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