WEBINAR: Parliamentary Elections in Montenegro

On June 27, 2023, Strategic Analysis organized the sixth online webinar this year with our Young Leaders‘ Programme members. The discussion focused on parliamentary elections in Montenegro, which were held on June 11, 2023.

Europe Now! emerged as the largest party, winning 24 of the 81 seats. The Together! alliance led by the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) finished second with 21 seats, the first time the DPS failed to win most seats since the introduction of multi-party politics in 1990. Voter turnout was 56%, the lowest turnout since 1990.

Unlike in previous elections, which focused on whether the country should lean towards the EU or Russia and Serbia, the economy and living standards dominated the agenda this time.

The election was Montenegro’s first in more than 30 years that does not feature Milo Djukanovic, who served almost continuously as the country’s prime minister or president since 2001. He lost a presidential election in April and has taken a back seat in national politics. His Democratic Party of Socialists has experienced a decline in popularity after three decades of dominance, with its new leadership was looking to make a comeback.

A pro-Serb coalition – For the Future of Montenegro – has emerged as a kingmaker in creating a future coalition government, winning some 15% of the vote Sunday, according to the independent pollsters.

The new ruling coalition, however, soon plunged into disarray, which stalled Montenegro’s path toward the EU and created a political deadlock. The government fell in a no-confidence vote last year but remained in office for months because of the stalemate.

Montenegro, a picturesque Adriatic Sea country of about 620,000 people, was once viewed as the country first in line to join the EU from the Western Balkans.