February 26, 2019 - The opposition should seek early elections, as entering the technical government would mean losing time and failing to deliver the desired results, claims Executive Director of the Center for Civic Education (CGO-CCE) Daliborka Uljarevic. She thinks the opposition should use public dissatisfaction and intensified attention by the international community to achieve better election results.
"Exit from this situation is in early elections to be monitored under full floodlights of all actors. The faults in the formation of the transitional governments can now cause damage to the opposition because the state apparatus has been strongly associated with the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), and the wrong patch the opposition can only cut off by a good election result. We already had the experience of a transitional or technical government that operated in a far more favourable environment, and this resulted in limited results. Today, the state administration is under the full control of the governing structure, and anyone who accepts it as a minister in front of the opposition would commit political suicide, " Uljarević claims.
Leaders of the opposition party, meeting with European Commissioner Johannes Han, said they would not participate in electoral reforms without the formation of a technical government. The opposition thinks that only the technical government can prepare the next elections, stressing that confidence in the election process is at its lowest level after the "Koverta" affair. The affair broke out after a video was released showing that a fugitive businessman Duško Knežević handed over to the then mayor of Podgorica, Slavoljub Stijepovic, an envelope in which, as claimed, 100,000 euros. Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic and Prime Minister Duško Markovic rejected the request for forming a technical government, stating that it was "a type of racket". They claim they are prepared to promote electoral legislation and have monitoring, but that "they do not agree to withdraw and invade the opposition".
Uljarevic believes that the opposition can not expect the repetition of the Macedonian scenario, where a transitional government that organised the elections was formed under the pressure of the European Union.
"It is clear that going to the polls with such institutions is a huge risk. But in the current context of awakened civic energy and DPS that shows many weaknesses, with the new attention of the international community, chances of a good opposition result are opened. The time that is planned to be spent through the technical government is the same time that DPS will use for its consolidation, " Daliborka Uljarevic says.
The demand for a technical government is the only concrete response of the opposition to the "Envelope" affair after a part of the opposition delegates led by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) demanded that the affairs be discussed at an extraordinary session of parliament. While the Democratic Front (DF) announced an initiative for the resignation of the president of the state, it began organising civil protests in which resignations of state officials were required. SDP presidency member Ivan Vujovic believes that the opposition should take advantage of the citizens' reaction to the "Envelope" affair. Protests and demands for resignations, he argues, have shown that there is still public awareness in Montenegro.
"The citizen's response is the damn of the normality, courage and determination that everyone needed, and I would say even that the opposition, driven by the eloquence and energy of the free society, is itself more mature. We also see that the international response is no exception and that this communication with partners will be continued. It feels that nobody can stop the Montenegrin spring. Citizens no longer fear, but the fear of corrupt and alienated elites is felt, "Vujović pointed out.
Uljarevic warns that the opposition has not yet adequately politically used the "Koverta" affair, pointing out that the opposition parties did not show enough co-ordination and co-operation.
"It is also a surprise that the opposition is expected more than Duško Knežević, a major donor of DPS, and now faces demanded by the investigative organs of Montenegro. It is what I mean by information and documentation suggesting abuse by institutions and violations of laws by DPS and its leaders, which Knezevic claims to have in his possession. When direct policymakers are waiting for someone else to do some of their work or else the wind in the back is not good because it carries the danger of marginalizing the same actors, "Uljarević claims, while Vujovic believes the opposition has done a lot by initiating parliamentary debate on "Covers" through boards and plenums. "We have seen that DPS has fled the debate in the committees, and then pressed for the demands of the free public and the EU agreed to the assembly debate. That debate has finally severed the essence of government and through the demonstration of idolatrous and personality cake all the mere meaninglessness of a truly and alienated system," Vujović said.