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August 3, 1996
. Vreme News Digest Agency No 252

Everyone Against Milo and Momir

by Velizar Brajovic

Thirty three parties registered for the November 3 elections in Montenegro. The unusual speed in scheduling the elections caught some new parties by surprise and the list of participants was reduced. The National and Social democrat parties said the speed was because the authorities are in a hurry because they think they’re growing weaker. A VREME source close to the authorities said parliament Speaker Svetozar Marovic called Belgrade and was told federal elections would be held on November 3, alarmed everyone else to meet the 100 day deadline between the scheduling and holding of the elections. That period is 60 days for the federal elections and the source said the decision will be announced on August 20.

The Montenegrin political scene is changed prior to the third parliamentary elections. The changes were initiated by the ruling party when it changed the election law and split the republic into 14 electoral districts. The opposition said an absolute majority in parliament can be won by getting 25% of the vote.

The National Party (NS), Liberal Alliance (LS) and Social Democrat Party (SDP) countered the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) by walking out of parliament and announcing a coalition to profit from the new law. They declared a moratorium on program differences, set a common goal (taking power from the DPS, forming a civic salvation government and fair elections in two year at the latest).

The opposition focused on uniting and it’s clear the NS and LS won’t clash this time. "When the electoral law was adopted it became clear that the ruling trio - Bulatovic, Djukanovic, Marovic - signed their names to their 1989 coup," LS leader Slavko Perovic told VREME. "I mean that the opposition in Montenegro is of high quality and that, not including Slovenia, there is no better opposition in the former Yugoslavia."

The LS-NS coalition is a certainty. They reached agreement easily but they might have a problem with some members who don’t want to join the separatists (the LS) and greater Serbs (NS). In any case they’re the basis closest to the SDP although there are problems in talks with that party over the price of the coalition. The SDP has a minimum of conditions and the NS and LS have set a maximum of concessions. None of them want to discuss their talks.

At the same time talks are underway with the Moslem SDA, Democratic Alliance of Albanians and Democratic Union of Albanians. All those parties welcomed the election alliance. The first round of talks shows that the alliance will happen by mid-October at the latest.

The united opposition has one goal - taking power from the DPS in what NS leader Novak Kilibarda said would be the achievement of the first step of democracy. Everything else is subject to that goal. At the moment, many are trying to get what they can from the coalition even though they know that they won’t enter parliament if they stand alone in the elections.

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