November 23, 2020 - The Parliament of Montenegro has adopted amendments to the Rules of Procedure, which stipulate that a deputy whose freedom of movement is restricted due to the emergency caused by the COVID-19 can vote at sessions of the Parliament and its working bodies remotely (online).
On today's session, forty-nine deputies voted in favor of the amendments to the Rules of Procedure, while one deputy was against.
The Assembly previously decided that, for emergency reasons, the amendments would enter into force after their publication in the Official Gazette.
For the first time, at the parliamentary session on December 2, when Prime Minister-designate Zdravko Krivokapić will explain the program and personnel of the new government, MPs will vote online.
Deputies are obliged to inform the President of the Assembly, i.e., the working body, in writing or electronically (e-mail), no later than the beginning of the session, about the existence of reasons for participating in the work of the session remotely.
"The remote session is conducted through information technology that enables the transmission of data, images, and sound in real-time, so there will be no doubt on MPs identity," state the amendments to the Rules of Procedure.
At a remote session, the Assembly decides by public voting: by using the electronic voting system, raising of hands, roll call, or using information technology.
These provisions will be valid until December 31 this year.
Amendments to the Rules of Procedure were proposed by Slaven Radunović, Boris Bogdanović, Branko Radulović, Dragan Ivanović, Miloš Konatar, Danijel Živković, Ivan Brajović, Ervin Ibrahimović and Raško Konjević.
Explaining the amendments to the Rules of Procedure, the President of the Democrats-Demos Parliamentary Club, Boris Bogdanović, recalled that the parliamentary majority and the parliamentary minority came to a solution together because the pandemic does not differentiate between the parliamentary majority and the parliamentary minority, left and right.
"The changes were signed by all the presidents of the parliamentary clubs and sent a clear message that we are not only ready but also capable of compromise," Bogdanovic said.
DPS MP Danijel Zivkovic said that the DPS is now the opposition, which will show how the opposition should behave in the future after they come into power again.
He said that Montenegrin society would look different today if they had at least a part of that cooperation earlier than the opposition, as now during the amendments to the Rules of Procedure.
Andrija Popović (LP) gave the opposing opinion at the session, and said that he would not support the amendments to the Rules of Procedure due to the possibility of abuse.
Aleksa Becic, the president of the Parliament, recalled that at the session of the Collegium, all club presidents signed the changes.
"These solutions are not good. There is a possibility of abuse, and that deputies will vote on some laws under duress. Don't do that. We think that the state is in danger, that the occupation of Montenegro has begun in 26 pictures," he said. Popovic announced that he would not vote for the amendments to the Rules of Procedure.
At the beginning of the session, Niko Đeljošaj and Milutin Simović resigned from their positions as deputies due to incompatibility of functions. Djelosaj is the mayor of Tuzi, and Simovic recently was appointed mayor of Niksic.
The President of Right Montenegro, Marko Milačić, left the Parliamentary Club of the Democratic Front.
Text by Biljana Matijasevic