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The European Parliament's rapporteur for the Balkans has said that Montenegro has the right to call an election when it thinks it is best, and urged the opposition to turn its attention to preparing for the poll.
Jelko Kacin of Slovenia urged the country's opposition to prepare itself for the campaign ahead, rather than complain about electoral conditions.
Kacin said the Montenegrin government had acted appropriately by allowing the public to decide who will guide the country through the European accession negotiations, which are expected to take several years.
At the initiative of the ruling coalition, Montenegro's parliament shortened its mandate last week, arguing that the government needed a stable four-year mandate in order to carry out EU accession negotiations. The move allowed President Filip Vujanovic to call early elections, which he scheduled for October 14.
"The parliament and the government have an important role in the process of European integration," Kacin told Radio Antena M, adding there was no need to hold the presidential and parliamentary elections simultaneously.
The presidential election is scheduled for spring 2013.
Montenegro opposition parties had asked for the presidential election to be held alongside the parliamentary poll in October, but the ruling coalition did not support the proposal.
Commenting on opposition statements that the the country lacks fair and democratic conditions for elections, Kacin said that everyone has the right to complain, but now that the poll had been scheduled, it was time for focus to turn to the campaign.
"Now that it has been decided that elections will be held, I think that the opposition should shift into campaign gear. Because if it uses these next two months at its disposal, it can gain something, while lamenting leads to nothing. I think that above all else, people in Montenegro want a responsible government," Kacin said.
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