Statement by Montenegro’s Deputy Prime minister Duško Marković with Serbian Tanjug news agency
Podgorica, 19 October (Tanjug) – Deputy Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković said in a statement to Tanjug news agency from Serbia that Podgorica protests were not massive, that the police did not break them, and that everything is peaceful in Podgorica and the rest of Montenegro.
“The situation in Podgorica is the same as it was in the days prior to the protest. Everything is peaceful in Podgorica and the rest of Montenegro, the citizens are going about their regular business, and the institutions are functioning,” DPM Marković told Tanjug and added that the “picture on the ground is different to the one given by the media.”
He said there were no massive demonstrations as the organisers had been announcing, noting that in the preparatory phases they even said there would be hundreds of thousands of people at the protests.
“Quite the contrary, for three weeks we have had a few hundred supporters, protest participants who have by using their right to express their political views and demands jeopardised the rights of other citizens of Podgorica and the rest of Montenegro, jeopardised and curbed business activities in the capital, and acted contrary to the decisions and permits they were given,” Mr Marković has said.
In his words, this was a situation that amounted to the request by the local authorities for police assistance in order to ensure the normal flow of traffic.
Mr Marković has also noted that the protests were not broken, that there were no protesters in the morning, and that they have remained at their homes.
“The police merely provided assistance to the communal police in removing the equipment that was illegally placed on Podgorica’s main boulevard. On this occasion, a few demonstrators, headed by an MP and a president of a constituent political party in the Democratic Front, tackled the police officers in an appropriate manner. This was a motive for the police to intervene and reach a decision to prevent the gathering,” he has explained.
Mr Marković has negated that there has been attacks against journalists, adding that this was also the position of the journalists that were there during the police activity.
“There was only one journalist there, who is really a protest organiser and he had participated in the protests for three weeks, a man who is a founder of non-governmental organization called ‘No to NATO – No to war.’ He was therefore a participant of the protests, not a journalist. No force was used against him. He had to be removed from the area that was the perimeter of police activity and assistance,” Mr Marković has noted.
He said the police action was one of the most professional assistance provision activities that was very restrained and fully professional, and no force was used, as the police has held back even though their safety was in danger.
“On Saturday we have had an authorised gathering, where police forces were attacked, teargas and hard objects were thrown at the police. They had to react then,” he said noting that the Democratic Front has failed in their ambition to gain support of the entire opposition, both within and outside the parliament.
“Apart from individual attendance by independent MPs, who became independent after break-ups in the opposition over the past months, there was no organised political support by other parties to the organisers,” Mr Marković said.
He criticised the demonstrators for what he noted was the most vulgar and primitive way of criticising power holders in Montenegro.
“Last night, in order to instigate protesters to radicalism and violence, a most hideous lie was said, that Prime Minister Milo Đukanović has fled Montenegro, and at that time he was presiding over the National Security Council. They are using the most debased means of deceit of domestic and international public,” Mr Marković has concluded.
Source: Tanjug news agency in Serbian
Translated by the Public Relations Service of the Government of Montenegro
Source: Government of Montenegro