By Adnan Prekic – Podgorica
After the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists in parliament blocked the adoption of a new electoral law, the main opposition, Democratic Front party, has left the Parliament. The main opposition had accused the ruling party for obstructing the Assembly and claimed that they take responsibility for the political crisis. Criticism for failing to adopt the electoral law have also arrived from Brussels.
Instead of the adoption of a new electoral law that would restore confidence in political parties in Montenegro, a new political crisis has occurred.
The Presidency of the Democratic Front has decided to completely boycott the Parliament. The reason for this decision was the refusal of the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists to vote on amendments to the electoral legislation that is supported by all other parties, including the Social Democratic Party, which is also a part of the ruling coalition.
The irresponsible act of the Democratic Party of Socialists has deepened the distrust between the opposition and the government, which started on April 2013 with electoral fraud and misuse of state resources on the presidential elections, announced the Democratic Front. They believe that the Democratic Party of Socialists in this way claimed responsibility for the continuation of parliamentary and general political crisis in Montenegro.
The failure to adopt the electoral law was criticized by the European Commission. They reminded them that these laws constitute part of the commitments that Montenegro has undertaken in its negotiations with Brussels on Chapter 23. The European Commission criticizes the Democratic Party of Socialists and the minor parties for not supporting the full package of the election law.
We recall that the Assembly, with the votes of the opposition and minor parties of the ruling coalition – the Social Democratic Party, passed four laws, but their implementation is impossible without an umbrella law on the election of councilors and MPs. Peter Stano, spokesperson for EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule, said that the Commission was encouraged by the news that the Parliament adopted amendments for the four electoral law, but were disappointed because of the failure to adopt the whole package of electoral legislation.
The political parties have taken the message from Brussels seriously. Today both camps stated that they are willing to continue negotiations in order to agree on contentious issues of the electoral legislation. President Filip Vujanović has supported the continuation of the negotiations. From the Office of the President is announced that Vujanović will not call the local elections in several Montenegrin towns until it is known whether the set of electoral laws will be adopted by March 25, which is the final date for early elections.