Voting is open. Montenegrins are being called to ballot on Sunday 11 June in the early legislative elections to try to put an end to the political crisis that has been undermining their country since the historic defeat three years ago of the party of veteran local Milo Djukanovic, also beaten in the presidential election in April.
Two governments have been toppled by no-confidence motions since the August 2020 parliamentary elections in this Balkan country of 620,000 inhabitants.
Since the defeat of Milo Djukanovic's Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), defeated by a heterogeneous coalition composed among others of pro-Russian and pro-Serb formations, no camp has managed to build a stable majority.
Montenegro, a NATO member since 2017 and which has been negotiating its membership of the European Union (EU) since 2010, has since gone from crisis to crisis. A paralysis of the institutions that has hindered in particular its rapprochement with the EU.
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In April's presidential election, Jakov Milatovic, a 36-year-old pro-European economist, easily defeated Milo Djukanovic, a dominant figure on the Montenegrin political scene for three decades.
His party "Europe Now!" is well placed to win the election and be a pillar of the next government.
"Europe Now!", founded barely a year ago, promises to move Montenegro forward on the European path, to bridge the religious and community divides that divide the country where a third of the inhabitants identify as Serbs.
The party hopes to attract young voters eager to see new faces at the helm.
Its co-founder and president Milojko Spajic, 35, is aiming for the post of prime minister. But a few days before the election, the candidate, accused of populism, was the subject of a resounding controversy relayed by the interim Prime Minister, Dritan Abazovic, and his allies.
They discussed his alleged links to South Korean founder of the Terra cryptocurrency, Do Kwon, who was arrested in March in Montenegro. Accused of billions of dollars of fraud, Terra Do Kwon is wanted by Washington and Seoul.
Economist and former finance minister Milojko Spajic dismissed the allegations and reiterated his campaign promises on raising wages, pensions and introducing a seven-hour working day.
However, the candidates for the deputation will probably come up against the weariness of some voters, tired by the elections of recent years and exasperated by the paralysis of previous governments.
"I only hear exaggerations in election promises. It's not based on reality," Milica, a 43-year-old economist from Podgorica, told AFP. "I will not vote."
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