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The new so-called Democratic Front, which hopes to coordinate opposition to the government in Montenegro, will be headed by former foreign minister Miodrag Lekic, it was confirmed.
Miodrag Lekic, Montenegro’s former foreign minister, is to coordinate a new opposition coalition, the Democratic Front, Andrija Mandic, chairman of the opposition New Serbian Democracy party, NOVA, announced on Tuesday.
Who is Miodrag Lekic?
During the Nineties, Lekic was Foreign Minister in the Montenegrin government of Milo Djukanovic. In the late Nineties, when Podgorica distanced itself from the Belgrade regime of Slobodan Milosevic, Lekic was ambassador of the joint state, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, in Rome.
He became well known for his hostile statements about Kosovo Albanians and for his firm support for Milosevic during the 1999 NATO bombardment of Yugoslavia.
Mandic said he had talked over the weekend with Lekic about the formation of the new, Democratic Front while he was in Rome, where the ex-foreign minister from 1992 to 1995 works as a university professor.
The NOVA official explained that they were undertaking the initiative to form the new front because the country's biggest opposition party, the Socialist People’s Party, SNP, had failed to take real action against the government.
Mandic added that some in SNP wanted the party to run in the next elections independently, but he disagreed.
The successful overthrow of “totalitarian regimes in Europe” usually followed united action by all opposition structures, he noted.
So far, NOVA and Movement for Changes, PzP, have expressed their readiness to join the front while the SNP hasn’t explicitly declared its hand.
In a statement, the SNP merely emphasized that all parties and structures that advocate changes in Montenegro need to find the best way to compete in democratic and fair elections.
Two new political formations, Righteous Montenegro and Positive Montenegro, have both distanced themselves from the initiative.
Rade Bojovic, chairman of the board of Righteous Montenegro, told MINA news agency on Tuesday that his bloc doesn’t intend to cooperate either with the governing or opposition structures.
Positive Montenegro, even prior to its formation in May, stated that it will run in the next elections independently.
But at the press conference, Mandic noted that trade unions, NGOs, professional associations and everyone who wants to change Montenegro were also being invited to join the front.
On July 11 or 12, on his arrival in Montenegro, Lekic will start to coordinate activities in gathering opposition forces, Mandic continued.
Montenegrin officials have stated that autumn will be the best time to hold both parliamentary and presidential elections, although parliament’s and the President’s mandates do not expire until spring 2013.
The Hague Tribunal has been successful in bringing wartime commanders to justice but hasn’t met expectations on reconciliation, chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz told BIRN.