For the amendments proposed by the pro-Russian “Democratic Front”, 41 deputies of the so-called “old majority” voted, which include the “Democratic Front”, “Democrats”, the Socialist People’s Party of Montenegro, the civil movement URA of Dritan Abazovic, “United Montenegro” and “Real Montenegro” “. One MP, Gentzi Nimanbegu of Albania’s Forca party, spoke out.
Deputies of the Democratic Party of Socialists, whose leader Milo Djukanovic now holds the presidency, were not in the hall during the voting.
The adopted amendments to the law limit the president’s constitutional powers.
In particular, the procedure for granting a mandate to form a government is changing. In fact, this right passes from the president to the parliamentary majority. Now, according to the Constitution of Montenegro, the president has the exclusive authority to nominate the head of the new government.
By amending the law on the president, the parliamentary majority wants first of all to create conditions for the nomination of the head of the new government of the head of the liberal-conservative Democratic Alliance Miodrag Lekic, a politician loyal to Russia with diplomatic experience during the Yugoslav times, who did not support Montenegrin independence, to the post of head of the new government.
The amendments also make changes to the procedure for appointing and recalling ambassadors – this right is granted to the government instead of the president. Now, due to disputes between the executive branch and the president, Montenegro does not have ambassadors in 18 countries.
The original wording of the amendments to the law also provided for the possibility of starting the procedure for dismissing the current President Djukanovic. However, this option was removed in the final version.
In September, the pro-Russian majority had already proposed Lekic’s candidacy for the post of head of government, but Djukanovic refused to support her due to procedural violations.
After the adoption of amendments to the law on the president, a new government led by Lekic may be elected at the end of November or in December.
The Democratic Party of Socialists of Djukanovic and opposition parties close to it accused the parliamentary majority of committing a constitutional coup, legal violence and the destruction of the constitutional order of Montenegro. They called the adopted law “Lekic’s law”.
Dozens of citizens gathered outside the parliament the night before to protest against the “constitutional coup”.
The permanent political crisis in Montenegro has been going on since 2020, when the Democratic Party of Socialists and its allies lost their majority for the first time in the parliamentary elections.