From: Bledar Qalliu
Montenegrin Parliament Dismisses Speaker, Defeated Coalition Heads for Protests

On Monday, the Montenegrin parliament voted to dismiss speaker Aleksa Becic, following a successful vote of no confidence against the government last week.

The vote was set in motion by the opposition and the smallest party in the ruling coalition, Black on White of deputy prime minister Dritan Abazovic. A simple majority of 41 votes was needed for the speaker’s dismissal in the 81-seat parliament. 43 MPs voted Becic out, while 36 voted for him to remain. 

With the government toppled and the speaker’s seat lost, the other two parties in the coalition—For the Future of Montenegro and Peace is Our Nation—warned of protests on Wednesday. They said they wouldn’t allow the largest party in parliament, the Democratic Party of Socialists of Milo Djukanovic, to come to power.

Abazovic plans to form a minority government that would lead the country to new elections. Djukanovic has promised that his party will support Abazovic in parliament without demanding to participate in the government. The two latest successful votes to sack the government and parliament speaker indicate that such government could be possible.

In August 2020, the Future of Montenegro (27 MPs), Peace is Our Nation (10 MPs) and Black on White (4 MPs) were able to topple Djukanovic’s party after a 3o-year rule. Abazovic’s Black and White agreed to join the coalition on the condition that the government would comprise a non-partisan cabinet of ministers, which was voted in parliament in December 2020.

However, disagreements started soon between Abazovic and the other pro-Serb coalition parties with regard to the appointment of ministers from their parties. In recent months, both the government and parliament were effectively unable to be productive as a result of internal disputes.

Abazovic intervened by setting in motion a no confidence motion against the government and the parliament speaker after receiving the opposition’s approval.

As leader of Black on White, Abazovic has been one of the fiercest critics of Djukanovic’s rule, who led Montenegro’s declaration of independence from a union with Serbia, paved its path towards the EU, and made the country a NATO member during his 30-year rule.

Like during the August 2020 elections, Abazovic finds himself again between Djukanovic and a coalition of pro-Serb and pro-Russian parties.

The parliament is expected to elect a new speaker, and possibly a new government.