Are these elections for forming Montenegrin government or a referendum on NATO?

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Montenegrin political parties campaign for parliamentary elections on 16 October can make outsiders think that the citizens of Montenegro are to decide on NATO membership and not on MPs and government. On the one hand, DPS is “pushing” the NATO story as one of its merits, which the Democratic Front is using in its promotion videos, presenting the alliance as the only Milo Djukanovic’s trump.

Therefore, CDM asked Vladimir Goati, a reputable professor and an expert on local issues, whether NATO issue can be the decisive one in the elections.

“Currently, the importance of NATO is extremely high, but that argument could be used in Serbia more successfully, because this hatred against the alliance is much weaker in Montenegro. I don’t think the NATO card can bring prevail in the elections”, Goati told CDM.

He points out that both sides are presenting the elections as “to be or not to be” thing.

“The opposition’s campaign, particularly DF’s campaign, is based ad hominem as criticising Milo Djukanovic. I have not realised that the opposition parties have a common programme – they go as usual in multiple columns. In these elections, DPS has not insisted on a national division, but it will be deepened because of the opposition, primarily DF. DPS plays programme card and has a positive campaign, whereas DF, at least as far as I understand, has the campaign focused on PM Milo Djukanovic. I can say that he is offering a programme, a better life and is not focused on private lives of his opponents, whereas the opposition’s campaign is primarily personal. However, I have not realised the opposition campaign is a programme one – but there is still enough time for them to change it… we will see”, Goati said.

In any case, he does not expect any spectacular changes after 16 October.

“I personally do not think that there will be an electoral earthquake. More or less, the status quo as before the election will remain”, he concluded.

Source: Cafe Del Montenegro