[Opinion] : The Montenegrin question now

Milojko Spajic and Jakov Milatovic

Milojko Spajic, leader of Europe Now and President Jakov Milatovic


By Miodrag Vlahović, @Mico_Vlahovic ,

Podgorica, 12 September 2023, /  – Problems for Milojko Spajić, the Prime Minister-designate for composition of the government of Montenegro, were easy to predict.

He got what he wanted. After six hours of discussion, the Main Board of the Europe Now Movement decided by an overwhelming majority not to invite pro-Serbian/pro-Russian parties into the government. This caused a “rebellion” in the ranks of its smaller coalition partners and “civic lists,” which have three MPs in the Parliament of Montenegro.

So, now the long-lasting dispute and disagreement between Spajić and newly elected President Milatović, is out in the open. President Milatović, Vice President of Europe Now!, has advocated participation of the main pro-Serbian/pro-Russian coalition in the new government.

Milatović’s friends are unhappy

The pro-Serbian, pro-Russian coalition “For the Future of Montenegro” (ex-Democratic Front) is infuriated. Long favorites of Serbian President Vučić and Russian President Putin, its leaders are openly xenophobic and ethnic nationalist. Their main accusation is “treason” and their main target is the Bosniak Party. Why should Bosniaks deal with problems that do not concern only Bosniaks? They attack the civic concept of Montenegrin society.

The Church of Serbia is a mainstay of that attack. Together with the pro-Serbian/pro-Russian parties, it organized a mass rally in an effort to exert its enormous and destructive influence.

Serbian President Vučić is disappointed. His new “trump card” in Montenegro – President Milatović – appears unable to channel the development of the situation in the Serbian direction. Vučić still hopes to find MPs in Europe Now! who can be subjected to Belgrade, Moscow’s, and Church influence.

There is an alternative, but…

It remains to be seen whether – and under what conditions – Spajić could open his governing coalition to his rivals in the Democratic Party of Socialists, the Social Democrats, and the Liberal Party. The chances are slim. The psychological and political barriers are high.

But without their support, Spajić’s government will be weak and unstable, with a 41 to 40 majority. He may even need Social Democrats to reach that margin.

An unstable government or new elections – that is the Montenegrin question now. 


Miodrag Vlahović, is former Montenegrin Minister of Foreign Affairs and former ambassador to US. He is now president of the Montengrin Helsinki Committee. This opinion of his was first published at website.    

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