Montenegro votes for a new Parliament
The people of Montenegro go to the polls today to elect the 81 seats of the Parliament of Montenegro. There are 528,817 registered voters but no overseas voting with 17 parties and coalitions (34 parties) putting up candidates and 1,200 polling boards overseeing the vote. The election is held as a single nationwide constituency using a closed list proportional representation system and candidate lists must pass the three percent threshold to gain representation. Voting will take place between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. local time.
In 2012 the coalition led by the centre-left Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) called the Coalition for a European Montenegro won 39 seats. The main opposition centre-right Democratic Front (DF), again an alliance of ten parties won 20 seats. There were six other parties who won representation.
In this election the DPS is running on its own with two Liberal Party candidates on its list. If the most recent opinion polls are accurate then the DPS is on around 37.2% of the vote compared with 45.6% of the vote in 2012. The Democratic Front has dropped from 22.82 in 2012 to around 14.3%.
A new coalition, the Key Coalition, made up of the centre-left Socialist People’s Party of Montenegro (SNP), centre-right DEMOS and centre-left United Reform Action (URA) appear to have taken second place with 22.7% support.
The DPS has dominated parliament for the past 26 years, but this year the Key Coalition, Democratic Front and the centrist Democratic Montenegro (DCG – Demokratska Crna Gora) party have agreed to form a coalition government if they beat the DPS. However, this coalition is likely to be unstable. The Democratic Front is pro-Russian and anti-NATO whilst the Key Coalition is pro-European Union and pro-NATO. If the DPS comes up short it may have the support of Positive Montenegro (Crna Gora – CG) if it gains any seats and both parties are pro-West and pro-NATO.