Montenegro Elections Could End Three Years of Political Turmoil

Electoral campaign billboards in Montenegrin capital Podgorica. Photo: BIRN/Samir Kajosevic

Since then the small Adriatic country has endured almost constant political turbulence and two governments have been ousted.

Podgorica-based University professor Predrag Zenovic said there are expectations that the elections could herald an end to the turmoil.

"Montenegro should finally get a stable government that would accelerate its European path and continue reforms," Zenovic told BIRN.

"However, the frequent quarrels in the government in the past three years mean caution is needed, because the new government could be formed by the same parties," he added.

Opinion polls have suggested that the recently-formed Europe Now movement, centrist blocs and parties representing national minorities could lead the new government.

Last October, the Europe Now movement led by former Finance Minister Milojko Spajic won the mayoral races in the capital Podgorica and in the town of Danilovgrad, while in April this year its candidate, the movement's vice-president Jakov Milatovic, won the presidential elections.

Formed last September, the movement quickly emerged as a political rising star, focusing on the economy and reforms.

Meanwhile an opposition bloc led by the Democratic Party of Socialists is being tipped to continue its downward trend after its former leader Milo Djukanovic's defeat in the presidential elections.

For the first time in history, the economy was a key point in the parliamentary election campaign, with most parties avoiding decades-old national and religious disputes.

In the past, Djukanovic's bloc often accused the then-opposition of undermining Montenegrin statehood, while most of the opposition...

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