Political instability in Montenegro continues as efforts to form a new government collapsed on Wednesday. Former diplomat Miograd Lekić, who Parliament had designated to form a new government on December 29, announced that he has failed to build a viable coalition.
Lekić told the media, “I made everything public and managed to keep the dignity of the country so that its government is decided in Montenegro… Unfortunately, there will be no government, and many forces defeated in August 2020 will rejoice.”
The long-ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS, was removed from power in August when the government of former Prime Minister Dritan Abazović fell in a vote of no-confidence. Lekić was mandated to form a government following some controversial amendments to the law on presidential power that transferred some of the powers of President Milo Djukanović to the Parliament. Some have argued that this move violated the Montenegrin Constitution.
The European Union and the United States have sharply criticized the attempts to form a new government within the current parliament, warning that the current crisis could threaten Montenegro’s path to EU membership.
Andrija Mandić, a leader of the pro-Russian Democratic Front, said Montenegro should prepare for early elections. “First, we should elect judges for the Constitutional Court, members of the Judicial Council, and the Supreme State Prosecutor. Then Parliament Speaker Danijela Djurović and President Milo Djukanović should agree on holding early parliamentary and regular presidential elections on the same day,” Mandić told the press.
The constitution requires that the Speaker call presidential elections by the end of January, but this could prove impossible since the Constitutional Court has remained without a quorum since September 20.