News 25 Sep 12

Montenegro Albanians Doubt Plan to Restore Municipality

Ruling party leader's announcement that a mainly Albanian area of the capital may become a municipality meets sceptical response, coming in the run-up to the October general election.

Milena Milosevic
BIRN
Podgorica

Ethnic Albanian leaders in Montenegro responded cautiously to a pledge by the ruling party's leader to re-establish a mainly Albanian municipality in the country.

Milo Djukanovic, chairman of the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS, on Sunday told the party’s pre-election convention that the mainly ethnic Albanian Tuzi area might have its independent municipal status restored in the near future.

He said the authorities would hold a consultative referendum in order to decide the issue on October 4, ten days before Montenegro's general election.

Currently, the predominantly Albanian residents of this area, near the capital, Podgorica, enjoy limited self-government, although Tuzi still forms part of Podgorica.

The area, also known as Malesia, stretches up to the Montenegrin border with Albania, comprising more than 17 per cent of Podgorica’s territory.

Historically, it was an independent municipality, but it lost this status in 1957.

The demand for Tuzi to become a municipality once again has been a priority issue for Albanians who make up about 5 per cent of the population of Montenegro.

Some ethnic Albanian leaders criticized Djukanovic’s promise as a political ploy aimed at winning more votes in the forthcoming election.

Vaselj Sinistaj, a candidate for the Za jedinstvo (For Unity) bloc, dismissed the announcement as a pre-electoral trick, questioning the legal foundations for organizing such a referendum.

He and another Albanian leader in August launched an initiative to re-establish the Tuzi municipality before parliament, by submitting a feasibility study.

Mehmet Barhdi, another prominent Albanian politician, recalled that the DPS promised municipal status for Tuzi 15 years ago.

Early parliamentary polls are to take place in Montenegro on October 14 when the DPS-led government of Prime Minister Igor Luksic will be seeking re-election.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

crime-gang-head-claimed-murder-of-serbian-journalist-witness-says-01-16-2017
16 Jan 17

Crime Gang Leader ‘Admitted Killing Serbian Journalist’

Miladin Suvajdzic, a former member of the so-called Zemun Clan, testified in court that that one of the crime gang’s leaders “confessed” to killing Serbian opposition journalist Slavko Curuvija in 1999.

16 Jan 17

Serbia Accused of Provoking Kosovo Over Train

16 Jan 17

Multi-ethnic States Have Failed in the Balkans

16 Jan 17

Kosovo Indicts KLA Ex-Guerrilla for War Crimes

16 Jan 17

The Balkans Today: 16th - 20th January 2017

16 Jan 17

Experts Fear for Croatia's Education Reforms

Premium Selection

scrapped-us-health-conference-costs-bosnia-canton-dear-01-16-2017
16 Jan 17

Scrapped US Health Conference Costs Bosnia Canton Dear

The former director of the Health Insurance Institute of Sarajevo Canton faces a lawsuit after spending more than 20,000 euros on a conference in the US that never took place.  

serbian-opposition-challenged-to-agree-on-presidential-candidate-01-16-2017
16 Jan 17

Serbian Opposition Challenged to Agree on Presidential Candidate

Opposition parties in Serbia can only win the upcoming presidential election if they unite behind a joint candidate, experts say – but whether they can agree on one candidate to be seen.

13 Jan 17

NATO Ignoring Balkan Tensions, Experts Warn

Latest News from the Balkans

16 Jan 17

Serbia Accused of Provoking Kosovo Over Train

16 Jan 17

Kosovo Indicts KLA Ex-Guerrilla for War Crimes

16 Jan 17

Experts Fear for Croatia's Education Reforms