Protesters in Podgorica Demand Resignation of Montenegro's Government

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | October 19, 2015, Monday // 10:00
Bulgaria: Protesters in Podgorica Demand Resignation of Montenegro's Government Anti-government protesters clash with police officers in Podgorica, Montenegro, 17 October 2015. Photo: EPA

Several thousand people continued their protests in the capital of Montenegro on Sunday, calling on the government of Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic to resign.

Tensions ran high as the security measures were heightened after violent clashes between protesters and riot police had taken place on Saturday, Balkan Insight informs.

The anti-government protests are organised by an alliance of several opposition parties, styling itself as the Democratic Front.

The organisers threatened to hold fresh protests across the whole of the country if the government does not resign by Saturday.

The government has been accused of corruption, undemocratic practices and election fraud.

The demonstrators, who have held protests since the end of September, call for the resignation of the government and the holding of early elections.

At least three opposition leaders, several MPs and journalists were injured during the clashes on Saturday.

A 24-hour demonstration was first launched in September, with protesters demanding the creation of an interim government to oversee the country's “first free and fair elections”.

The protests follow months of heightened tension over the new election legislation, which is seen by opposition parties as a threat to the fairness of the forthcoming general elections scheduled to take place in the spring of 2016.

Some opposition leaders said Djukanovic had left the country by plane, but such claims were dismissed by his Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS).

DPS accused the Democratic Front of attempting to destroy the constitutional order of the country and hamper the accession of Montenegro to NATO.

According to unofficial police estimates, there were 5000 participants in the demonstrations, while the organisers claimed the figure was close to 10 000.

Several opposition parties, NGOs and student organisations, which have not previously supported the Democratic Front, joined the ranks of the protesters on Sunday.

Djukanovic has been in power as either prime minister or president almost without interruption since the break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

He served successively as prime minister from 1991 to 1998, then as president from 1998 to 2002 and then two more terms as prime minister from 2003 to 2006 and from 2008 to 2010.

Currently, he is serving his fourth term as prime minister, having held the position since 2012.

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Tags: Montenegro, Podgorica, protest, demonstration, Milo Djukanovic, resignation, early elections, DPS, Democratic Front, NATO, opposition, corruption

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