Blog: Opposition’s Response?

Judging by reactions, Djukanovic will also try to silence this affair with the power of ”independent” institutions. ”Come to institutions, let us convince you that the “first sister” is actually Duško Knežević, that Milo’s reputation is worth a million euros, that the 16 000 euros you get and do not pay back – is not a gift, that the 2 000 square-foot villa was built by itself, that Migo did not take the envelope to the post office, that only the sun of the authorities warms Montenegro and that without it comes only darkness and cataclysm.

By pressing the institutions in similar cases, opposition tried to fight for political and criminal responsibility in Parliament. Parliamentary investigations ended well for the DPS and bad for the opposition, which didn’t receive the resignation of officials, didn’t provoke a Government dismissal, and failed to politically valorise arguments at the following elections. Also, from “Telecom” to “Audio Recordings” affairs that reached the top of the regime were drowned in the corridors of police and prosecution.

Will this affair hit the walls of institutions – Wailing Wall for the Rule of Law? For example: Migo does something on probation, through the side hallway, and the DPS accountant does some misdemeanor, then again there is a fresh start: 2020 elections. The rest will go under investigation, until 2036.

It will, if everything remains the same in opposition, and if we don’t change and start more seriously to implement new political strategies and tactics.

In other words, there is no such affair that can shift the relations of political powers unless the opposition presents itself as a genuine political alternative, ready to do more, do better and do differently.

Political responsibility, as a precondition for all responsibilities, must be won in elections. This is the only way to ensure that what we have seen in these days, and what we will see, is not lost in the chambers of the “temple of democracy” and in the corridors of the prosecution.

It is unrealistic, and also dangerous, to expect that everything will happen spontaneously and without additional effort, that the regime will collapse on its own, that the DPS will leave the authority without a fight, and the opposition will enter abandoned institutions. The regime already brought media mercenaries, and the owners of agencies, representatives of prosecutor offices and the public broadcasting service have sworn publicly that will defend the beloved President to the last.

The opposition needs the political wisdom demonstrated in Budva, after all and despite everything that happened, which resulted in elegant resignation of an earlier one, and the appointment of new municipality president. In accordance with the agreement and the principles laid down, and in contrast of the announcement wars of the Democratic Front and the Democrats, which were ongoing for months and it looked like there is no hope for Budva. If it is possible to win in Budva, Kotor, Herceg Novi and Berane, it is also possible to find a cooperation model at the state level, and a framework for cooperation that gathers, reconciles and attracts not only old but also new voters of the opposition, as well as some parties (or parts of parties) who exercise authority at the state level.

I believe that there is increasing number of those in the Democratic Party of Socialists who start to see Đukanović as burden, and they are starting to question themselves and whether the entire party is at risk because of a wasted leader. Such people can distance themselves from Đukanović, and support justified demands of the opposition. But, until that point, which is still far away, something needs to be done.

The opposition can’t remain trapped in impersonal statements, in million times repeated words which paint the ”criminal regime” and seek resignation. It may be that one part of the governing coalition voters will really be disgusted with how they previously voted, but that still doesn’t mean that they will quickly switch to the opposition’s side. Anyway, they sure don’t vote for DPS because of Milo’s honesty. In order to ”cross to the other side of the river”, voters need to better understand and accept the political alternative they want to choose. Experience showed us that image cannot be represented by alienate opposition, in which everyone works for themselves and accuses others of not doing the right thing. The least common denominator of the opposition as a whole, is needed.

Several recent initiatives of opposition parties may be a good starting point for joint acting. Democrats gave a proposal to define common terms of parliamentary opposition for fair elections, and without accomplishment of this is impossible to hold the next parliamentary elections. The Social Democratic Party “called for a special session of the Parliament” and the SNP invited the opposition to meet and talk. Now almost all opposition parties talk openly about organising protests.

All initiatives and proposals can and must be discussed. No media, no bad memories, no conditioning, harsh words, etiquette. Establishing a dialogue with the aim of jointly answering to the questions: What to do in Parliament? What to do outside of Parliament? How to look for common terms of fair and democratic elections in 2020? What to demand from European Union as an urgently needed response to the state of emergency in the political and legal system?

Stevo Muk,

President of the Managing Board at Institute Alternative

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