Montenegrin people, tired of widespread poverty, unemployment and officials’ corruption, once again act in hope to overthrow Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic and his office. Deputies of the Assembly (Parliament of Montenegro) are to hold a vote of no-confidence to the Cabinet on January 25. The government he needs the support of at least 41 deputies in order to stay in power. However, the majority of Montenegrins are hoping that this day will be a turning point in the history of their country.
Nikita Bondarev, the head of the group of Balkan Studies of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies (RISS) forecasts the development of the situation in Montenegro for Russian Peacekeeper.
“As for now it is pretty difficult to assume the distribution of votes in the Assembly, since Djukanovic has a parliamentary majority. In spite of the active opposition, the Montenegrin prime minister is likely to come to terms once again with everyone, including the so-called swamp or people who use their parliamentary mandate only for their own enrichment”, – the expert believes.
According Bondarev, despite the justified overall criticism the Montenegrin prime minister should not be underestimated. He has almost unlimited financial resources due to the fact that his brother heads the State Bank of Montenegro. Thus Djukanovic might again outbid “the parliamentary quagmire” and guarantee a vote of confidence for himself and his cabinet on January 25.
If the required number of votes to send Cabinet to resign is not received, protests continue. “Dissatisfaction with Djukanovic and his policy is still growing. People will go out to express their discontent, and we should expect even greater numbers of protesters,” – the scientist said.
Meanwhile, Bondarev notes that all the protests in Montenegro happen according to the same scenario. A huge number of people for such a small country like Montenegro coming out, block the city core of Podgorica in attempt to siege the building of the Assembly. In response, the police disperse protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets. Everyone break up, and then gather themselves up and protests resume. People will go to protest, and Djukanovic – to disperse them, the expert believes.
Meanwhile Bondarev suggested three feasible courses of action of the socio-political developments in Montenegro.
EU and NATO stop to support Djukanovic
Leaders of the European Union or NATO might decide that Djukanovic is no longer a suitable political figure for Montenegro on the way to “European choice”. The current Montenegrin Prime-minister is an authoritarian politician who has been in power for last 27 years and was involved in numerous corruption scandals and criminal scams.
“Perhaps to lead Montenegro into the EU and NATO there should be other political person, who is younger and has less dark stories in the past days. The West understands that Djukanovic is not an ideal candidate to lead the country along with Europe and NATO ito the brighter future, – expert predicts. – However, in order to receive Europe’s silent consent that Djukanovic should go, the protest activities in the capital of Montenegro have to transform. As of now their are totally peaceful, but they may develop into something similar to what happened in Kiev on Maidan.”
Gray Eminence comes out of the shadows
According to Nikita Bondarev, a Montenegrin tycoon named Brane Micunovic who controls the Montenegro’s shadow structures, resort business, real estate services literally everything that brings significant revenue to the country’s welfare may play a vital role in the events in Montenegro. “Micunovic can be called the godfather of Montenegrin criminal world. He has complex relations with Djukanovic: they were friends, then quarreled. After the mass protests against the government commenced, Micunovic took a pause, he supports neither Djukanovic nor protesting,” – said the scientist.
In addition, Micunovic has its own private security company, employing tough guys mostly having army and special forces experience, some of them even served in the French Foreign Legion. Micunovic warriors combine into small private army. There are still inactive and do not support any of the warring parties.
“Micunovic is waiting for a certain signal, which would indicate that Djukanovic or the colossus with feet of clay finally staggered, and the opposition gains a real chance to overthrow the Prime Minister and his cabinet. In this case, Micunovic who kept aloof for a long time will be in the forefront of those to storm parliament and other state agencies in Podgorica”, – Bondarev said.
The Church against Djukanovic
Bishop (Metropolitan) Amfilohije of Montenegro and Primorje has been actively supporting the protesters, but never called for a dismissal of Djukanovic. ” Djukanovic has complicated relationship with Amfilohije, he would like to appoint his own patriarch and to seize all the property of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church. However he took no concrete steps in that direction, – notices Bondarev. – If Djukanovic gets active fighting against Amfilohije, it could trigger a new round of mass protests among Orthodox believers and to bring the protest activity to a new level, but this kind of scenario cannot be strongly discouraged”.
Hereby, the most favorable result of the confrontation between Montenegrin opposition and Prime Minister would be a peaceful settlement of the situation and the following resignation of the Cabinet. The government must heed the people request and compromise to avoid needless casualties and keep country from falling into greater chaos.