Monday, February 10, 2003

Montenegrin Miscalculations

The Balkans road to democracy is going to be longer than expected. Montenegro, only few days after becoming few formalities short of independent, proved how fragile this independence is and how Montenegrins are still divided on the issue. Pro-Serb opposition, defeated on parliamentary elections in October, managed to flex its muscle in December by torpedoing presidential elections through boycott. Just like Serbia, Montenegro has laws that mandate 50% turnout for presidential mandate to be valid. Just like in Serbia, this, combined with voter apathy, proved to be powerful weapon for opposition. Only a month after last attempt, Montenegrin voters again fell short of that magical percentage. Next try is going to happen in three months.

Montenegrin government already announced the changes in electoral law. But the question remains – why did they bother in the first place? Were they thinking that they could humiliate their pro-Serbian rivals by winning that magical majority? This is just one of the many miscalculations Djukanović's (Djukanovic's) government took in last few years.


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