Following the October 16th parliamentary election in Montenegro, in which Milo Djukanović’s Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) won 36 of the 81 seats, it appears that the DPS will form a government, subject to a coalition agreement being reached. The party had the largest share of the vote, though the margin of their victory was not sufficient to gain a majority that would allow them to govern alone. Thus negotiations between the DPS and a number of ethnic minority parties are ongoing, and it is likely that a governing coalition will be forged in the coming days. The job of leading the government will, however, now fall to Montenegro’s prime minister-designate, Duško Marković, the former head of Montenegrin state security and a close ally of Djukanović.
November 4, 2016 - Kenneth Morrison
Montenegrin politics has been dominated by the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), the successors of the Montenegrin League of Communists (SKCG), since the former Yugoslav republic’s first multi-party elections in 1990. The party’s leading figure, Milo Djukanović, has held the position of either prime minster or president (excluding two short sabbaticals) constantly since then. The latest elections promised to be the most closely contested since Montenegro regained its independence in 2006. And while the DPS’s hold on power had been relatively stable since (though coalition agreements were needed to ensure this), the striking difference in the latest parliamentary election was that the DPS were contesting them independently (not in a pre-election coalition), as were their partners in the governing coalition created after the 2012 election. The outcome of the vote was, therefore, rather unpredictable.
October 17, 2016 - Kenneth Morrison
If you arrive in Tbilisi – the capital of Georgia – by plane, before you get to the city centre from the airport, you will have to drive along the George W. Bush highway. The former US President remains highly popular, especially with western minded Georgians, not least because of his staunch support for the democratic transition of the former Soviet country – and especially for his efforts to make Georgia a member of NATO. It was Bush who tried to convince his European counterparts in 2008 to grant Georgia a membership action plan (MAP) together with Ukraine, which would have put both countries officially on track to joining the military alliance. But due to resistance from France and Germany all he got was the binding promise that “these countries would become members of NATO” in the future, noted in the final declaration of the summit.
July 14, 2016 - Shalva Dzidziguri