Montenegro: Prime Minister’s decision to remove Minister Leposavić divides the country

Montenegro: Prime Minister’s decision to remove Minister Leposavić divides the country

The European Commission (EC) is aware of the initiative of Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić to dismiss Minister of Justice, Human and Minority Rights Vladimir Leposavić, in the light of his comments on Srebrenica, EC spokeswoman Ana Pisonero Hernandez said for Podgorica’s Pobjeda.

She reiterated that the EU rejects and condemns any denial, relativization or misinterpretation of the Srebrenica genocide.

“Respect for human rights and the rule of law constitute fundamental values ​​of the EU, and as such they are key elements of the EU accession process that determine the overall pace of Montenegro’s EU accession negotiations,” Pisonero said.

Yesterday, in an extraordinary address to the public, Prime Minister Krivokapić said he had initiated the procedure for the removal of Leposavić after his comments through which he relativized the genocide in Srebrenica.

The dismissal procedure provides for a voting in the Assembly. A wing of the ruling DF majority, namely SNP and Prava Crna Gora, announced they would not support the dismissal of Leposavić, while the Democrats said they would not support it either by siding with the Democratic Party of Socialists and without agreements with coalition partners.

In several cities in Montenegro, citizens gathered to express support or disagreement with Prime Minister Krivokapić’s decision. Some citizens, mostly Serbs, demanded that Krivokapić withdraw the decision on his dismissal. Among them were those who carried banners openly denying the Srebrenica genocide. In Podgorica, dozens of citizens gathered in front of the Government building carrying Serbian flags, chanting songs about Kosovo and shouting that “there was no genocide” in Srebrenica. The gathered crowd also spewed insults to Assembly President Aleksa Bečić, stating he had “betrayed Kosovo”.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vuči, said he was not surprised or delighted with all the moves of the new government in Montenegro, as he had hoped relations with Podgorica would be at least slightly different.

“I am not surprised; I am not thrilled with all the moves of the new Montenegrin authorities. It is more important to them that the State Department and Brussels get excited than Belgrade. That is their choice, I will not interfere in their internal affairs”, stated Vučić.

He added that Serbia would continue to help the Serbian people, associations and organizations in Montenegro. /ibna