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news 20 Dec 15

Montenegro Opposition Protest Calls for Free Elections

Anti-government protesters gathered in the streets of the capital again on Sunday, calling for new elections and an interim government to replace Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic.

Dusica Tomovic
BIRN
Podgorica
Photo:FreedomCalling.me.

Hundreds of anti-government protestors gathered in front of the Montenegrin parliament on Sunday carrying Montenegrin and Serbian flags and demanding free and fair election.

Montenegro's main opposition alliance, the Democratic Front, said that the protests were organised for those who do not believe that the "captured institutions can achieve something."

The Front called on other opposition parties to join the protest and demanded the formation of a transitional government that will organize elections.

All opposition parties except for the Front in November agreed to crisis talks with the speaker of parliament, Ranko Krivokapic, on condition that elections are held under new electoral legislation by next autumn. The deadline for reaching an agreement is Monday.

Protesters were shouting "Milo thief" while Janko Vucinic, leader of the Workers Party, called for the arrest of veteran Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, who has been in power since 1991. They set up dozens of tents in a park opposite the parliament building.

One of the opposition leaders, Nabojsa Medojevic, said the protesters would again set up tents again and camp in from of the parliament, to fight for freedom as "the power of the dictator in not in his body armour."

Amid increased police presence, the anti-government protest in the capital Podgorica ended without incidents.

Joined by several student and human rights organizations, the Front began 24-hour demonstrations in September, demanding the creation of an interim government and resignation of Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, who has held power since the early 1990s.

The protest first turned violent on October 17, when police fired tear gas to disband the crowds. More violence broke out on Saturday 24, after opposition MPs attempted to enter the parliament but were prevented from doing so by police.

During the clashes between protesters and police, three opposition MPs we arrested. Two have been accused of a coup attempt.

Opposition leaders have called for a new rally on Wednesday, December 23, against "the deception of the public broadcaster RTCG." The rally on Wednesday will be 10 in a row of anti-government protests.

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