We appeal to the Parliament and the Government of Montenegro to cease the practice of debating bills, which do not meet the elementary criteria of public participation, especially in the current context of the crisis of the legitimacy of the political system. Furthermore, we appeal to the Constitutional Court to promptly decide on a series of acts that caused the current crisis.
The Constitutional Court should make decisions upon the initiatives to review the constitutionality of the amendments to the Law on the President, as well as a series of related acts.
After the decree on the dissolution of the Parliament, its members have already voted for problematic changes to the Law on Local Self-Government, which the Institute Alternative previously warned would degrade the employment system at the local level, and also limit the jurisdiction of local election commissions.
Eight bills have been submitted to the parliamentary procedure since the decree on the dissolution of the Parliament was passed. Six of them were initiated by MPs without adequate assessment of the financial and other impact of the regulations, alongside inadequate public participation. Some of these proposals regulate significant areas with a potentially large fiscal impact, all without an estimated amount of necessary financial resources. Amendments to the Law on pension and disability insurance are, in this sense, particularly singled out, as in accompanying justification it is only stated that it is “necessary to allocate additional funds based on the assessment of competent institutions the number of potential beneficiaries”.
On the other hand, on April 3rd, the Government determined the amendments to the Law on civil procedure, without previously conducting a public discussion and regulatory impact analysis, and submitted them to the Parliament. In the following explanation, which was also submitted, the absence of a public discussion was justified by the small scale of amendments to the aforementioned law, which, as they claimed, aims to harmonise with the provisions of the draft of the Law on amendments to the law on confiscation of assets gained from criminal activity.
Also, the draft of the Law on amendments to the law on confiscation of assets gained from criminal activity was passed without public discussion, which is an additional problem that points to a widespread accountability crisis and the degradation of citizen participation in the decision-making process.
The legal framework did not regulate the jurisdiction of the Parliament after its dissolution, while the President of Montenegro did not sign a series of legal solutions voted on in the meantime. Therefore, in the context of vague legal provisions, the role of the Constitutional Court is even more important and the proactivity of the judges of this court is necessary in order to stop the further “domino effect” of irresponsible political decisions.