Skip to content

Dritan Abazovic PM-designate, Pro-Western Government Expected in Montenegro

Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic Thursday appointed the leader of the URA Civil Movement and Deputy Prime Minister, Dritan Abazovic, as Prime Minister-designate. This paves the way for establishing a pro-western government in times of concern about the possible impact the Russian invasion in Ukraine could have in the country, Associated Press and Reuters reported.
True, Abazovic served as Deputy Prime Minister in the previous pro-Serb cabinet, but then he initiated the government’s downfall, arguing that the process of European integration had stalled.
The previous Montenegrin government fell after a no confidence in Parliament last month. It was compiled after the elections in 2020 which terminated the 30-year governance of Milo Djukanovic’s Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro (DPS).
The President called on Parliament to convene as soon as possible, in order to vote for the government and its programme. Djukanovic explained his decision to nominate Abazovic as prime minister with that the latter and his political allies had assured him they would manage to muster sufficient parliamentary support for the new cabinet.
The nomination came after political consultations with Montenegrin parties that did not include the Serb-oriented formations, which are also pro-Russian.
Djukanovic and his DPS led Montenegro to independence in 2006 and joined the country to NATO in 2017, even in the face of resistance of traditional ally Russia. However, the party’s popularity declined gradually in parallel with increasing claims of corruption.
A key ally of the West in the efforts to counter Russian influence in the Balkans, Djukanovic said on Thursday that it was to Montenegro’s interest to have a new government as soon as possible in view of the “additional challenges for security and the political challenges of the war in Ukraine and its reflection on the stability of this region.”
Abazovic says he will form a minority government with the support of the MPs from Djukanovic’s DPS in Parliament. Pro-Serbian groups threatened to organize protests against such a cabinet.
Montenegrins remain split between support for pro-western policies and pro-Serbian leanings. Earlier this week, dozens demonstrated in support of Russia in the second-largest city of Niksic./MD/BR