Djukanovic’s Decision on the Elections Date is Unconstitutional

If the elections are held on 30 August, when the President scheduled them, Montenegro could have “two Parliaments” for the period of 36 days.

The Decision of the President of Montenegro to hold elections for MPs on 30 August is unconstitutional.

With a complete interpretation of the relevant provisions of the Constitution and Law on Election of Councillors and Members of Parliament, it is indisputable that without reducing the mandate of the current convocation of the Parliament, the elections can not be held on 30 August.

If that really happens, Montenegro will have “two Parliaments”, that is two convocation of the Parliament in 36-day period (from 1 October to 6 November).

By the Constitution of Montenegro, the mandate of an MP lasts for four years. Since the current convocation was constituted on 7 November 2016, the mandate of the current MPs in the Parliament lasts until 6 November 2020.

If the elections were held on 30 August, according to the Law on Election of Councillors and Members of Parliament, the mandates of MPs of the new Parliament would have to be confirmed “within 30 days after elections” not later than 1 October. Automatically, on the same day, “the mandate of the previous convocation ends”.

Therefore, the new convocation of the Parliament would be confirmed 36 days before the expiration of the mandate of the current convocation prescribed by the Constitution. In other words, while according to the Law, the mandate of the previous convocation would end, according to the Constitution, that mandate would last until 6 November.

This is an inadmissible constitutional and legal situation which, if it is a matter of rough omission, requires an urgent reaction from the President of the state and a new decision on the date of elections. If, on the other hand, it is a question of the President’s intention to violate the Constitution, it is necessary that the Constitutional Court urgently and ex officio revoke President’s decision as unconstitutional.

Stevo Muk
President of the Managing Board of the Institute Alternative
Boris Marić
Executive director of Center for Civil Liberties CEGAS

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