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HomeBalkansMontenegro’s New Govt Faces Challenges to Reform Agenda: Analysts

Montenegro’s New Govt Faces Challenges to Reform Agenda: Analysts

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The leader of the Europe Now movement, Milojko Spajic, was elected prime minister by MPs on Tuesday with 46 votes in the 81-seat chamber.

One of the leaders of the pro-Serbian For the Future of Montenegro party, Andrija Mandic, was appointed as parliamentary speaker after his bloc agreed to vote for the new Spajic-led government in exchange for the position and four ministerial posts in the next cabinet reshuffle.

Spahic promised that his government will be focused on economic and judicial reforms and will move away from ethnic disputes and religious issues.

Spajic told MPs that his government’s proprieties are “full membership of the EU, active, credible membership of NATO and improvement of good relations with neighbours”.

“Our economic policies will aim to improve the living standards and include reforms enabling more fiscal revenues, investment and a better business climate,” he added.

But Podgorica University professor Nikoleta Djukanovic said that the promises of reforms will be hard to deliver rapidly.

“I don’t think there will be any dispute about social and economic issues in the ruling majority, but the voters will expect the government to deliver reforms in a short time. The new majority will quickly be able to show how stable it is over the specific issue of the expected reforms,” Djukanovic told BIRN.

The new government will have 18 ministries and five deputy prime ministers. It will include the centrist Europe Now, Democratic Montenegro, the pro-Serbian Socialist People’s Party and two Albanian coalitions.

“Ruling majority political needs were a priority in the new government’s composition,” said Djukanovic.

On Monday night, opposition parties and so-called Montenegrin patriotic organisations staged protests in front of the parliament building, accusing the new ruling majority working in favour of Serbian interests.

Opposition Democratic Party of Socialists MP Jevto Erakovic told parliament that the new government cannot last long.

“This is false pro-Western majority. So-called civic parties like Europe Now and [ethnic] Albanian coalitions [in parliament] are only a tissue infected by the worst Serbian nationalism,” Erakovic said.

The early elections won by Europe Now in June followed almost three years of almost constant political turbulence and the fall of two governments.

New Prime Minister Spajic, 36, was minister of finance and social care in a non-partisan expert government that was formed after a historic win by three opposition blocs ended the long rule of the Democratic Party of Socialists in 2020.

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