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Podgorica, Montenegro (28 July 2016) – Today’s statement by leader of the Civic Movement URA Zarko Rakčević, as well as Mr Krivokapic’s announcements that they will actualise the possibility of leaving the Government of electoral trust, do not contribute to achieving the goal on which we have painstakingly worked together for months…
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER DUŠKO MARKOVIĆ
Address at the press conference following the Cabinet session
Podgorica, 28 July 2016
Today’s statement by leader of the Civic Movement URA Zarko Rakčević, as well as Mr Krivokapic’s announcements that they will actualise the possibility of leaving the Government of electoral trust, do not contribute to achieving the goal on which we have painstakingly worked together for months.
We have worked together, through the Agreement and Lex Specialis, on creating conditions for fair and free elections that will make the legitimacy of the future government indisputable. In this way, we have created conditions for unhindered work, work unencumbered by collecting daily political points and enabled the effective implementation of the Government’s policies in all areas with a view to providing at a better life for all our citizens.
The entry of the opposition into the Government had, we may say, two dimensions:
Opposition ministers and others representatives in state and local authorities primarily wanted to control the use of state resources during the election campaign that they would not be misused for partisan purposes. I believe that by now they convinced themselves that their accusations addressed to the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) were groundless and used as an excuse for the defeat in the elections fr years.
The second dimension, but also an obligation of the opposition representative, was to participate actively in the work of the institutions and the Government as a whole. They did it to a certain point and gave an impetus to the work of the executive branch.
However, setting ultimatums and threats that they will leave the Government is not in line with the commitment defined by the Agreement.
We have listened about the alleged obligation of consensual decision-making in the Government. From what we could see and hear, the opposition ministers definy consensus as the obligation of the DPS and other members of the ruling majority to unconditionally accept their proposals. Let me remind them that the consensus, among other things, means willingness, as set out in the Agreement, to make decisions unanimously, through constructive dialogue, exchange of information and respect for both sides’ arguments.
When it comes to the concrete agreement with the A2A, the ruling majority voiced willingness and desire to work together towards achieving consensus at the sessions of the governmental bodies and committees, meetings with the relevant ministers and deputy prime ministers. At the end, the ruling majority sent to the Italian partner a proposal made by the opposition parties, although we thought that they were not legitimate and good for the State. On the other hand, I think that the representatives of the Troika did not act in the same way and show the same level of willingness to reach a consensus.
In order to convince you that these arguments are not my political assessments or subjective evaluations of the DPS, I would like to remind you of the Law on Media, for which we have also heard criticism of the opposition Troika. They rely on the Agreement and the obligation of adopting it by consensus, and they wrote themselves a draft law on the media, with the help of several people close to NGOs.
I wish to state that we have agreed this approach – adoption of the Media Law by consensus, at the level of president of the parties, with my direct participation.
We might remain silent about the fact that they did not consult the other signatories to the agreement, but we think that such a crucial law in the field of media can not and must not be approved by making shortcuts – without broad public consultation, without participation of media representatives to which the law applies, without consultation with experts from state institutions and regulatory agencies and without respect for the principle that before the laws are approved, we send them to the European Commission for an opinion.
Complex problems, that exist in this area regulating conditions for the work of the media, need to be addressed, but not on a shortcut and by introducing inapplicable and vague provisions.
We appreciate the efforts to apply to the utmost the European practice in this field in Montenegro in order to allow stable operation of the media, as well as the increasing of professionalism. But there are different mechanisms through which these objectives can be achieved, which already exist or can be incorporated into our system in a different way. We must not fall into the trap that would turn our best intentions into the complete opposite and practice.
I call on all parties to the Treaty, on which we have worked for months, to carefully and objectively read what we wrote and signed. That means that it is explicitly stated that the consensus is required for the selection of the Inspector General in the National Security Agency, which we provided, as well as for the adoption of acts of the Privatisation Council. The item that is also often cited says: “Political subjects express READINESS to adopt laws or decisions of special importance by consensus”.
I have already said what this readiness implies.
Therefore, it is not good to read from the agreement only what someone finds adequate. Let’s be fair and admit at least to ourselves, if not to the public , that DPS with its coalition partners repeatedly expressed readiness for compromise and consensus, which was confirmed by the Government’s support for several proposals and initiatives of opposition ministers.
I would use the opportunity to look back at the accusations about the alleged obstruction which is, according to the statements of opposition ministers, coming from the officials with whom they must work together. Dear colleagues, the Montenegrin administration is not good enough and even less perfect. We never hid nor denied that. On the contrary, we clearly pointed that out and asked for help from the EU in order to carry out a comprehensive reform in this field and establish effective and functional public administration, which will be a real service to the citizens and the foundation of the implementation of Government’s development policies.
Do not think that this kind of administration is not a problemme and a deadlock for the ministers from DPS. But we are working, we do not seek excuses for any failure to achieve the objectives sufficiently effective as we would like to. We have accepted the job and we are trying with the existing capacities to give the best possible results, while trying to strengthen the administration. Today’s Cabinet session was dedicated, among other things, to this issue through adoption of the Public Administration Reform 2016-2020.
We invite you to do the same. Therefore, we invite the Troika to do the same, so that through the irrational daily political moves which I believe are aimed at improving the political rating and providing the threshold in the upcoming elections, we do not destroy what we have achieved so far and what our goal is – to strengthen confidence in the electoral process and the selection of the government that will have undeniable legitimacy to work on demanding tasks of economic and democratic development of the country in the next four years.
However, if you do not observe our call, and if there is no such desire, DPS, unlike others, will not give up and give in just because it is difficult to achieve results and justify the trust and support of the public. On the contrary, we will continue to work with dedication and ensure citizens to express their will in the democratic election, whose regularity will confirm, I hope, hundreds of domestic and international observers who will monitor elections.
Source: Government of Montenegro