Montenegrins go to vote today in parliamentary elections, the outcome of which seems a foregone conclusion. According to the latest opinion polls, the ruling European Montenegro Coalition led by the longtime Prime Minister will win an outright majority. Milo Djukanovic has dominated politics there since 1990.
He called this vote 18 months early, saying he wanted a mandate for carrying out the painful reforms needed to win EU membership. But opponents say he wanted to get in before the economic crisis dented his appeal. Djukanovic said: “We are the party that is still very united, mobile, keen on winning and will bring about a safe, prosperous European future of Montenegro.” Analysts say the opposition is too weak to present any serious challenge. But whoever wins will have a tough job. Montenegro’s economic growth two years ago was one of the highest in Europe. This year it is forecast to be only two percent. Tourism, which once brought in a quarter of the country’s GDP, will be significantly poorer. And the EU will be no quick fix. It says Montenegro must first stamp out corruption and organised crime before it can enter the bloc.