Seselj Plans to Revive Radicals in Montenegro


02 Jun 15
Seselj Plans to Revive Radicals in Montenegro

The ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party plans to revive its activities in Montenegro in the run-up to the next elections, promising a vigorous campaign against EU and NATO membership as well as close ties to Russia and Serbia.

Dusica Tomovic

Seselj with supporters. Photo: Beta.

Serbian war crimes defendant Vojislav Seselj plans to re-activate his nationalist party in neighbouring Montenegro ahead of next year’s parliamentary elections, the Serbian Radical Party announced on Monday.

The newly-elected leader of the Montenegrin party, Dusko Sekulic, said that it was ready to commit itself to strengthening of the branch in Montenegro.

The Party of Serbian Radicals, the party’s officially registered name in Montenegro, has barely existed in the political life of the country for years, because its leader was in detention in The Hague.

Once a significant pro-Serbian opposition force in Montenegro, during the Nineties the party had several MPs in the national parliament and a number of representatives in the assembly of the capital Podgorica.

At party elections held in Belgrade on Sunday, the Radicals in Montenegro elected a new leadership and announced the launch of a new anti-NATO and anti-EU campaign, a return to Serbian nationalist ideology and the revival of the party programme which seeks closer relations with Belgrade and Moscow.

The party advocates the protection of Serbian national identity, language and the Cyrillic script in Montenegro, but also urges the authorities to allow dual citizenship for those who want to have both Montenegrin and Serbian passports.

“Revival of the party will be complex and not an easy job, but a great political climate and the enthusiasm in the current leadership give us a lot of confidence that we will succeed,” Sekulic said.

Seselj, who is on trial for war crimes in Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia before the UN war crimes court in The Hague, had been in custody since 2003, when he voluntarily surrendered.

He returned to Belgrade after being granted temporary release on humanitarian grounds in November. He is sufferiing from cancer.

Since returning to Belgrade, he has led nationalist protests and made a series of hardline statements that have angered war victims.

In late May, the Hague court told the Belgrade authorities to send Seselj back to detention, saying he had breached the terms of his temporary release.

Seselj however has refused to return for the verdict in his trial, challenging the Belggrade authorities to arrest him.

Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)