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Governing Democratic Party of Socialists wants early general elections in the autumn - and plans to run once again in tandem with the Social Democrats.
The Presidency of the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS, on Monday said it had decided to initiate a shortening of parliament's term in order to pave the way for early elections.
The party had also reached a broad agreement with its Social Democrat coalition partners on their joint participation in the election, it added.
Caslav Vesovic, DPS spokesperson, said early elections were needed for the next steps in the EU accession process, which must be dealt with by a new government over a full term in office.
Montenegro started membership talks with the EU at the end of June.
Previously, Filip Vujanovic, President of Montenegro, said that if Podgorica obtained a start date for membership talks, parliamentary elections should be held in the autumn of 2012 and not in spring 2013, when the government’s and parliament’s mandates expire.
According to the constitution, the President has the authority to call parliamentary elections.
Many want presidential elections to be held simultaneously with parliamentary polls. Debate is ongoing about whether Vujanovic may stand as a candidate for another term. He is now serving his second term as President of Montenegro.
The country regained independence in 2006, during his first term, leaving space for different legal interpretations about his right to stand for the presidential post once again.
The DPS on Monday said that it had not discussed early presidential elections or the party’s potential candidate as the next head of the state.
There was some surprise about the agreement in principle to form an electoral coalition with the SDP.
Although the DPS and SDP have formed every Montenegrin government together since 1998, the latter recently stated that it might run in the next elections independently.
To keep its reform policy credible for investors, the government must find common ground with the IMF and look for a new arrangement, experts say.