The leaders of three opposition parties that won the slim majority of 41 out of 81 seats in the Montenegrin Parliament in Sunday’s elections agreed to form an expert government and continue to work on the country’s European Union integration process.
The Sunday’s election outcome sent President Milo Djukanovic’s Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) into the opposition after almost three decades he and the party were in power.
Djukanovic has another three years as the president.
In a joint statement, the leaders of ‘For Montenegro’s Future,’ “Peace Is Our Nation,’ and ‘Black on White,’ coalition also said they would work on changing, what they described as ‘discriminatory laws,’ including the Law on Religious Freedom.
The regulation became the main topic in the country since last December and dominated the 2020 election campaign. Analysts agree the issue has decided the elections’ outcome to a great extent since the Law deepen the division among Montenegrins, who are Orthodox Christians by the majority but differ in political affiliation to the West or East.
Many objected Montenegro’s NATO membership and kept close ties with Belgrade and the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) which launched a series of protests against the Law that lasted for months.
The new coalition promised to carry out all international obligations the country undertook under the previous regime.
They also said they would implement all reforms necessary for the country to join the EU as soon as possible, adding their government would consist of experts in all areas regardless of their political, racial, national or any other characteristics.
They added they welcomed the representatives of the minorities and whished to build “more beautiful and more prosperous Montenegro together.”