Montenegrin President Milo Đukanović said that he would not sign the document on the dismissal of the Chief of the General Staff of the Army of Montenegro (VCG) Dragutin Dakić and of Major General Rajko Pešić. In a press release, Đukanović stressed that he would instead convene a session of the Defence and Security Council, which is in charge of those issues.
At the end of last year, Đukanović received two proposals from the Ministry of Defence for the dismissal of Dakić and the dismissal and termination of General Pešić’s service.
As he stated, both acts were signed by two members of the Council for Defence and Security – President of the Parliament of Montenegro Aleksa Bečić and Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić.
“Furthermore, I was informed by the media that these draft decisions were accompanied by the decision of the Defence Minister on the retirement of the Chief of the General Staff of the VCG, Major General Dragutin Dakić,” the announcement notes.
He recalled that the Decision on the appointment and dismissal of the Chief of the General Staff falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Council for Defence and Security, which makes decisions by consensus based on the Rules of Procedure.
Đukanović pointed out that in the work of the Council, the procedure provides for decisions by the body between the sessions with the consent and signature of its members on numerous issues within its competence.
“However, until now, the Defence and Security Council has never decided on the election or dismissal of the Chief of the General Staff of the VCG without holding a session of the Council. There is no reason for a new practice this time either,” Đukanović pointed out.
He said that he believes the eventual change of the head of the VCG represents an issue of state importance that deserves a session of the Council, which comprises the three highest holders of legislative and executive power in Montenegro.
“At the initiative of the Ministry of Defence, legal and procedural omissions were made which forced me to adopt a dissenting stance towards that act,” said Đukanović, stating that the first legal omission constituted a violation of the provisions of the Law on the Army.
Additionally, as he stated, the proposals for dismissal of Chiefs Dakić and Pešić were submitted in violation of the basic procedures determined by Article 12 of the Rules of Procedure of the Council for Defence and Security.
In that article, Đukanović explained, it is stated that the materials submitted for consideration to the Council, regardless of the degree of secrecy assigned to them, as well as all the documentation of the Council, can be communicated to the public only with the consent of that body.
As he explains, such consent was not sought, “and was probably not obtained from the Council either.”
“Taking into consideration all of the above, and most of all the importance this issue entails, I will not be signing the proposed decisions that were submitted to me. Instead, I will convene a session of the Defence and Security Council,” Đukanović said.
He added that he had already authorized the Council secretary to coordinate the date of a possible session with the members of that body. /ibna