After 24 October, the situation in Montenegro is becoming more complicated. The regime clearly does not want to compromise and applies a very wide arsenal to encounter the opposition, the application of the most brutal and the most bare force, combined with a wide range of manipulative methods, at the same time deceiving public opinion in the country and the environment from the actual development of the situation.
Originally appeared at IN4S, translated by Igor exclusively for SouthFront
The Montenegrin regime still has some support from the US, which seems to be dwindling with other Western countries where the prevailing impression about its lack of democracy and instability for the region. Russia openly shows its dislike for Djukanovic.
When it comes to the Democratic Front, as compared to September 25, when the protests started, and when they came into direct conflict with the regime, they are sure to come much stronger than they were then. In particular, the situation has radicalised after 17th of October when police dispersed the opposition camp in the city centre, which led to numerous conflicts during the day, and a larger contingent of opposition the following day. From this round, the opposition is total emerged victorious and came to the initiative. On one side they were treated generally as accepted martyred, and on the other side of the DF leaders postponed the next meeting for kotovo one week, seeking a compromise with the regime.
But after the stressful 24th of October, it is difficult to say with great certainty what situation will take place, and who from that night came out on top. The opposition has gathered on the Republic Square (Liberty) over 20,000 people and at a later stage walked around the Parliament building and it grew up close to 30,000 which is 4-5% of the entire population of the country. Regime media have admitted that there was primarily up to 8,000 people, which is a multiple reduction, the opposition has already gotten used to it, after the years of heavy confrontations with the regime. The DF has demonstrated that it can cope with the regime and other challenges, to mobilize a huge (for the Montenegrin) mass of supporters and to rise from his narrow party concept in a broad all opposition front against the regime. Apart from the SNP who came to the meeting in full composition, the Democrats, DEMO’s and the URA have come in few numbers, these organizations also participated in the rally against the regime. But they all pointed directly before the event, that if the regime does not want negotiations on the transitional government and compromise, that they’re going to join with the rest of the opposition to civil disobedience and protests. On the occasion of yesterday’s rally and the brutal behaviour of the police, with great doubt that the whole incident with a small group of provocatives furnished, SNP, Demos, Democrats, Ura, independent MPs have expressed their support to the DF and criticized the regime.
When in the fall of 2009, Podgorica officially recognized the so-called state of Kosovo, there was a rally held in Podgorica with nearly 50, 000 participants, which was interrupted so that the group of young men with hoods over their faces, threw projectiles at the cops who were behind the fence that divided them from demonstrators. That was the reason for the police to embark on this small group of young men with hoods, and in fact brutally threw tear gas and aggressively disperse tens of thousands of participants of the rally. After that, Andrija Mandic was on hunger strike for days. It is interesting that even in Belgrade, in the same manner dispersed set of opposition against the arrest and extradition of Radovan Karadzic to Hague on the 1st of August 2008, when a group of young men with hoods appeared further away from the set that was organized at the Republic Square. They allegedly threw stones and firecrackers at the police cordon there and then the police rushed up to the Republic Square, the police threw an enormous amount of tear gas and then chased them with batons . On that occasion there were more injuries, and Panović, a radical activist was killed. Also at the meeting, which brought together hundreds of thousands of citizens in February of that year, against the recognition of Kosovo’s independence by the United States and some Western powers, in front of the Parliament in Belgrade, the media downplayed the huge number of people present and gave emphasis on some small incidents in an attempt overshadow the overall message together.
In Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic’s manipulations are taken on monstrous proportions. After the census as of early April 2011, the regime in Montenegro reduced the listed Serbs, with more than 35% to about 29%, reducing thereby the paragraph about those citizens who speak Serbian, only about 50%. On that occasion, the President of the Census Commission committed several violations for what it is and prosecuted, but the results of the census are modified. Djukanovic beat Bulatovic in 1997 in the second round of presidential voting (in the first round Bulatovic had the advantage) with a minimum difference, and so as to more polling stations voting continued until late at night, although it must be complete by 20 hours. In the referendum for the independence of 21 May 2006, there were a number of irregularities, the official result of the referendum was hardly factual, taking into account at least for part of the numerous complaints of the opposition, which would certainly revised the success of the referendum for secession of Montenegro from the common state. In recent years, scandal footage and numerous other scandals, fraud and irregularities in the elections seriously undermined trust in the credibility of the electoral process, and the main demand of the opposition in the direction of organizing fair and free elections.
If we analyse the motive and the environment according to the situation in Montenegro, we can see that Washington is who supported Djukanovic for years in the concept of geopolitical confrontation with Russia. In the first phase Djukanovic was to remove Montenegro from the state union with Serbia (in the pre-phase up to 2000, it is presented only as a conflict with Milosevic), then you end up working on amending the 1000 year Serbian identity of Montenegrins, including national memory, consciousness, inventing a “new” language, religion and texts. Then he was to follow the next stage in the suppression of Russia itself by Montenegro, including the introduction of sanctions. As a final blow the whole concept of making Montenegro available for NATO forces was supposed to be the introduction of the country into NATO and the adoption of a law on religious communities to undermine the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral SPC. As the protests DF and other opposition occurred on a step or two from the realization of these imaginary and undemocratic processes, which do not have the support of the population in the country and face harsh resistance, American politics viewed Djukanovic as the figure in the sunset. More specifically, if the entry into NATO and could only be taken undemocratically and only out of the referendum and a sharp public opposition, now Djukanovic has a real dictatorship, blood on his hands, and almost a state of emergency in the country, so it would lead to the entry into Alliance through the back door, and would be a great disgrace, that Washington would see it as a success. trends.
When it comes to Western European countries (except Britain, which maintains a policy similar to Washington), they see things in Montenegro are far more profound. Aware of the undemocratic capacity that the country is pushed to the NATO referendum and the lack of will of the majority of the population in this direction, as well as the authoritarian regime pressure that squeezes multiple opposition and puts it in unequal position, assuming an extremely irregular and unfair elections in continuity. These forces on the other side would not be in the mood to even see the overwhelming influence of Russia, and would retain a Pro EU-course, indefinite delayed stories about NATO considered a SOLID solution, where the personal replacement of Djukanovic would be desirable. Democratic Front, and especially in coalition with Demos, the Democrats and the URA would be an optimal solution, which could be the Krivokapic’s SDP, and perhaps at a later stage and DPS, but without Mila. Finally for Russia any option without Montenegro entering into NATO, and of course the desirable change of Djukanovic.
Authorities in Serbia are in the vassal relationship to the Western powers, so to change Djukanovic, whom Vucic has a solid relationship, it is not important and in some elements, the rise of the population and the desire for change, even desirable. Therefore, the media in Serbia is very hesitant towards events in Montenegro, giving them a little space, and do not see things enough and with the opposition. It all goes together in support of Djukanovic, to realize its autocracy, cover-up and minimizing the effects of opposing protests and concealing his terrible repression against them. To some extent the Western European media also have an understanding for regime version of the truth, it seems that the segregating opposition in the media world significantly. The only exception is the Internet, rather objective media in the Republic of Serbian, Russia, and how much in some countries in the region, and a small area of the opposition in Serbia, and ingredients of objectivity in the West outside the English-speaking world.
The Regime goes in a direction that charges for alleged criminal activities only by leaders within DF New Serbian Democracy, Mandic and his deputy Radunovic, although such inadequate mounted indictment could put together the same way as for any other opposition leaders who were on set of 24 October. There is a clear intention of the regime, but probably one with hard work from American politics with it (not to be believed that the entire American administration favors Djukanovic, these are often lobbyists, this is where Milo is extremely skilled), to try different manoeuvres to weaken all parts of the Serbian opposition, and to try to obtain a compromise and combinations that would fit these centres of power. For it is the best barrier exquisite uniqueness and connection of the Democratic Front which is manifested and in this regard, when his fellow leaders underlined that Mandic and Radunovic did not declare anything at the protest, they did not say, and other leaders of the DF, and that if there are intentions that from the regime prosecuted, it should relate to the whole DF and all its leaders.
It seems that the final fight for DF and the opposition included fairly homogeneous, with growing sympathy of the population, while the regime of brutal force and intimidation de jure holding power even further, but de facto it eludes him, and a transitional government is increasingly seen as a compromise solution . Or more precisely, it is the solution to see more and more that all major actors in Montenegrin politics except the Djukanovic and narrow ruling clique around him.