Ethics Code Aims to Tame Montenegro’s MPs


News
06 Nov 14

Ethics Code Aims to Tame Montenegro’s MPs

Montenegro’s parlament is to adopt an ethical code of conduct, to make sure that its MPs behave with due decorum – which has not always been the case in the past.

Dusica Tomovic
BIRN

Podgorica

Montenegro’s parliament is preparing to adopt a Code of Ethics once the rulebook has recieved the appropriate nod from the European Commission.

The draft document says that deputies who violate the code and who refuse to publicly apologise will have to pay fines of up to several hundred euros.

Parliament started drafting an ethical code to “improve democratic standards, as well as the position and importance of parliament as a key democratic institutions” back in 2013.

It concerns and number of fields such as impartiality, integrity, openness, diligence and honesty. It also addresses MPs’ financial interests as well as the body that will be in charge of overseeing the code.

Lawmakers still need to agree on the full range of penalties for violators – and over whether they should be suspended in the last resort.

Opposition MP Dritan Abazovic told BIRN on Wednesday that the document would be based on the Code of Ethics of the European Parliament.

Abazovic, a member of the Commission preparing the code, said that financial penalties for inappropriate behavior would surely be necessary. “If MPs are obliged only to apologize, no one will value the code,” he observed.

Parliament in the small Adriatic republic is well known as an arena for harsh language, and even the odd brawl.

Over the last year, opposition and ruling MPs have clashed several times physically in the chamber. Some of the conflicts were resolved only following the reaction of parliamentary security guards.

Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)