01/09/2006 - D-7
On 10th September next, 480,000 Montenegrin voters are being called to elect the 81 members of Parliament; this is the first election since the country officially became independent on 3rd June last in the wake of the referendum on 21st May during which 55.5% of Montenegrins voted in favour of their State's independence. 747 candidates are running in the general elections representing six coalitions, five political parties and an independent list. A report published at the end of August denounced the low number of women standing. There is only one amongst the 41 main candidates.
Montenegrins living in the communities of Andrijevica, Bar, Berane, Bjelo, Polje, Danilovgrad, Kolasin, Plav, Pluzine, Pljevlja, Rozaje, Ulcinj and Savnik will also elect their town councils on 10th September. Those living in the capital of Podgorica and the towns of Golubocvi and Tuzi will also elect their local councils and their mayors.
The two main coalitions running are:
- the favourite, forecast winner in all the polls, comprising the Democratic Union of Socialists (DPS), the majority party in Parliament (30 seats) led by Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, the Social Democrat Party (SDP), the Bosnian Coalition and the Croatian Civic Initiative (HGI),
- the one bringing together the Popular Socialist Party (SNP), the opposition party (19 seats) led by Predrag Bulatovic, the Popular Party (NS) led by Predrag Popovic and the Democrat Party (DSS) led by Ranko Kadic.
Another coalition called the Serb Coalition rallies the Serb Popular Party (SNS) led by Andrija Mandic, the Serb Radical Party (SRS) led by Tomislav Nikolic, the unfortunate candidate in the last presidential election in Serbia on 27th June 2004 against Boris Tadic, the Democratic Unity Party (DSJ), recently created by Zoran Zizic, former Prime Minister of Yugoslavia after the fall of Slobodan Milosevic (2000-2001) and the former leader of the Movement for the Maintenance of the Union of Serbia and Montenegro and the Popular Socialist Party (NSS).
Two NGO's, initially members of this coalition, the National Serb Council (SNV) led by Momcilo Vuksanovic and the Academic Alternative led by Vojin Grubac did not receive permission to participate on the part of the Republic Electoral Commission.
Finance Minister Igor Luksic declared on 23rd August last that he would provide 205,000 euro to the parties running in the elections. This sum will be distributed equally between the candidates; therefore each list will receive approximately 17,000 euro.
According to a number of political observers the electoral campaign in these general elections is a continuation of that undertaken for the referendum on independence (21st May 2006) with however less important stakes and less uncertainty.
As forecast by all the polls, political analyst Srdjan Vukadinovic believes that the Democratic Union of Socialists will win the election on 10th September next and stay in power. The Albanian Democratic Union (DUA-UDSh) and the Movement for Change (GZP), a party created on 15th July in Cetinje by Nebojsa Medojevic, former chairman of the NGO Movement for Change might also win some seats in Parliament. According to Vukadinovic, the political landscape of Montenegro should not be drastically modified after these general elections.