OCTOBER 12 2012 17:01h
PODGORICA, Oct 12 (Hina) - Early parliamentary elections are to be held in Montenegro on October 14th. These will be the ninth elections since the multiparty system was introduced and the third since the country gained independence in 2006.
Thirteen political subjects will try and win the vote of 514,000 eligible voters choosing 81 members of parliament.
The elections are being held before the regular term next spring under Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic's decision in an effort to give the government full legitimacy to lead the country to its final objective of acceding to the EU.
Two strong blocs have emerged during the pre-election campaign - the coalition "For a European Montenegro" and the Democratic Front (DF), with two other larger parties.
Analysts seem to think that the coalition "For a European Montenegro", consisting of the Democratic Social Party (DPS) of Milo Djukanovic, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) of Ranko Krivokapic, and the Liberal Party headed by Andrija Popovic, will be on the verge of taking absolute authority again.
The opposition Democratic Front (DF), led by a former diplomat when the country was still annexed to Serbia, Miodrag Lekic, has joined forces with Andrija Mandic's New Serbian Democracy (NOVA), which originally opposed Montenegro's independence, and the Movement for Changes (PZP) led by Nebojsa Medojevic who has been criticised by the supporters of independence because of this pragmatic alliance.
Several minority parties will run in the elections independently, including the Croatian Civil Initiative (HG), the only political representative body of Croats in Montenegro. The party will more than likely manage to have one member in the parliament again.
Both the ruling coalition and opposition agree that it is in the country's interest to join the EU, however, there is some dissension over whether the country should join NATO. The opposition is urging a referendum on the NATO accession.
Negotiations with Montenegro on its path to the EU were opened in June and the country is now in a phase of screening, its legislation being analytically compared to that of the EU.
The elections will be monitored by 1,200 local and 100 foreign observers hired by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). (Hina)