Montenegro is electing a government today and, if the opinion polls are right, many voters are more than happy to stick to the status quo.
No change is expected after the early parliamentary poll, with the ruling “European Montenegro” coalition forecast to win an outright majority. Its boss and the longtime leader of the Balkan nation, Milo Djukanovic, says he moved the vote forward to facilitate the path to EU membership. Critics claim it was also about winning re-election before the effects of the global recession worsen. The prime minister says he will combat the crisis, strive to safeguard the economy and secure pensions – all attractive campaign pledges. But some believe there is another explanation for his enduring appeal – the splintered opposition has failed to provide a clear alternative. “The opposition is weak because they have no answer to the problems Djukanovic can’t solve,” said analyst Predrag Drecun. “If they did have answers, the opposition would be in a better position.” Montenegro’s economy has grown robustly since 2006 when it ended its loose union with Serbia. But, in common with much of the Balkans, it faces a possible recession this year.