Zoran Kostic: Nearly million of Montengrins were robbed of their rightful chances to vote

The day before yesterday, the republic of Montenegro saw a parliamentary election. A narrow victory was won by the ruling bloc “Montenegro Is the Winner,” the nucleus of which was the Democratic Party of Socialists headed by Milo Djukanovic, the country’s President. So, the adherents of Montenegro’s secession from Yugoslavia have won a relative majority in a new parliament. Their coalition, after a proper vote count, received 42.2% of the vote (35 seats in parliament out of 77) against the Together for Yugoslavia coalition, which received 40.67% of the vote (33 seats). Apart from those 2 major blocs, only the Liberal Union managed to get their fellowmen elected – the Liberal Union, which takes extreme separatist positions, was supported by 7,65% of the vote. According to the republic’s election commission, about 73% of the electorate have shown up. “The election was neither democratic nor free, since, to ensure the victory of the socialists’ Democratic Party, all state bodies were actively involved here, including courts and police, and also all local media,” Zoran Djindjic, deputy chairman of the Socialist People’s Party and the Federation’s prime minister is quoted by the Radio Jugoslavija, assessing the election campaign. Our correspondent Sergei Stephanov has spoken over the telephone to Zoran Kostic, a Serbian writer and the director of the Serbian Cultural Centre here in Moscow and asked him to comment on the elections’ results. Mr. Costic, in particular, said the following. “Unfortunately, antinational forces are winning in Montenegro – they call for this small country’s secession from Serbia. However, their victory is relative. Nearly million of Montenegrins, currently residing abroad (including me) were illegally, in defiance of all international norms, stripped of the chance to take part in the vote. Such a decision was taken some months ago by the parliamentary majority, and this decision was “legalized” by Milo Djukanovic, The President was afraid that the voters uninfluenced by the local “brainwashing” could affect the election results. As for Mr. Djukanovic’s movement, its victory was ensured by the votes of ethnic Albanians and Moslems residing in Montenegro who account for about 33% of the population and actively contribute to stirring up of interethnic hatred. Besides, there are 15% of schismatic Greek Orthodox Chernogorins advocating an independent Montenegro, and also Catholics. The overwhelming majority of the Greek Orthodox population of Montenegro unequivocally supports the Together for Yugoslavia coalition. And yet, the majority gained by the “Montenegro Is the Winner” coalition in the parliament is not enough to hold a referendum over the republic’s secession from Yugoslavia – a qualified two-thirds majority is needed for that. A civil war may break out in the country. Mr. Djukanovic’s party is sure to keep on pressing ahead for independence and use every opportunity to hold the referendum.” Vlado Micunovic, the chairman of the Serbian-Russian Friendship Association in the city of Novi Sad is more optimistic in his assessment: “Montenegro and Serbia make up a single whole which has been formed historically. There are forces aiming to destroy our unity. Yet, if the referendum comes to pass, the Montenegrin people will speak in favour of a single Yugoslavia. Many are aware that it would be much more difficult to create a new independent state of Montenegro than to wreck the federal republic. Although many citizens failed to take part in the parliamentary election, they are yet to have their say in the referendum.”


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