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

Premium Selection

legija-killer-kingpin-in-serbia-s-courtroom-dramas-05-31-2016
31 May 16

Legija: Killer Kingpin in Serbia’s Courtroom Dramas

Milorad Ulemek, alias Legija, the former special police commander convicted of PM Zoran Djindjic’s assassination, is being resurrected as a potential star witness in high-profile cases that could boost the government’s credibility.

rising-debt-fails-to-deter-investors-in-serbian-bonds-05-29-2016
31 May 16

Rising Debt Fails to Deter Investors in Serbian Bonds

Foreign investors will remain interested in lending to Serbia as long as economic reforms stay on track.

30 May 16

Serbian Army Inches Closer to NATO

Latest News from the Balkans

31 May 16

Kosovo MP Goes on Trial for Property Scams

31 May 16

UN Court Rejects Plea to Release Karadzic