September 6, 2020 - Putting identity issues in the background and maintaining the state's foreign policy course are the obligations of the new authorities in Montenegro, said the Executive Director of the Politikon network, Jovana Marović, stating that overcoming program and ideological differences are one of the main challenges.
She said the new government would be elected after decades of one-party rule and that the tasks ahead would be challenging for any party or coalition.
"The new government will consist of three coalitions with significant differences, both programmatically and ideologically. Overcoming these differences will be one of the main challenges for the new government to achieve the goals they have set," Marovic told MINA.
As she stated, one of those goals is to accelerate the process of democratization and move the integration process out of the current deadlock.
Marovic said that Montenegro has been stagnant for several years, and in many areas is falling behind established parameters.
"The European Union (EU) has noted that there are elements of a captive state in Montenegro, while Freedom House has classified it as a hybrid regime. The economic situation with massive public debt is no better, with additional problems that arose from the crisis caused by coronavirus," said Marović.
She added that the new government must avoid clientelism and nepotism.
As Marovic stated, considering that so far all elections have been held with shortcomings in legislation and with a problematic voter list, these are problems that the new government will have to respond to for the next elections to be held in a democratic atmosphere with fair conditions.
"Putting identity issues in the background, maintaining the country's foreign policy course, and respecting everything written in the Constitution should be added to this palette. It should not be a challenge considering that these are the foundations of a democratic and pro-Western society. Still, suppose we return to the differences already mentioned between the parties - it will also be a challenge for the new government. Yet, at the same time, it is an obligation," Marovic said.
As she stated, the three coalitions' leaders agreed on the principles on which the new government should be based, and that is currently a reason for optimism.
"However, the coalition agreement should be more comprehensive and precise, while still basing itself on the agreed principles. Montenegro must fulfill the obligations arising from NATO membership and respect all international obligations and agreements it has signed," said Marovic.
She stressed that Montenegro must not back down from integration and efforts to become a full EU member.
"There are other, non-Western actors who are interested in Montenegro, and while in the economic sense we could talk about some shared interest, in the political sense, turning to these countries would not bring anything good," said Marovic.
Those countries, as she said, do not offer a framework for democratization, so their "mentoring" would mean moving away from the principles of liberal democracy, and Montenegro is already significantly behind EU countries in this area.
Marovic emphasized that democracy cannot be built without the change of government.
"And in that sense, it is positive that those who manage the processes will be different individuals. "The public now have proof that changes depend on them, and following that, they will know how to reward or punish the moves of the new government with their vote," concluded Marović.