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Damon M. Wilson Aug 31
thread: dramatic result with opposition holding 41 seats to government coalition’s 40. Polarized, energized electorate. Could bring end to Socialist’s 30-year-long run, but government formation will be tough given divergent views of coalitions/parties.
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Damon M. Wilson Aug 31
Replying to @DamonMacWilson
Regardless Djukanovic will remain president, with good chance of some form of “cohabitation.” But coalition agreement needed first. 90 days to do so. Smaller actors are now king-makers.
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Damon M. Wilson Aug 31
Replying to @DamonMacWilson
One thing is clear – elections works in Montenegro. High 75% turnout. Two sides separated by approx. 10K votes. If Croat party had crossed threshold, govt coalition would’ve eked out win. Minority parties could swing either way now.
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Damon M. Wilson Aug 31
Replying to @DamonMacWilson
Serbian Orthodox church rallied against government, became overt political actor in response to government’s law on church property. Pro-Church and Russian-backed actors in Belgrade leaned in hard.
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Damon M. Wilson
Results reflect coalition among Serbian nationalists, those loyal to church, ambivalent about MNE statehood, sympathetic to Russia, along with those tired of corruption & DPS rule but committed to sovereign, democratic MNE in NATO & EU. Desire for change is only common ingredient
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Damon M. Wilson Aug 31
Replying to @DamonMacWilson
Issue now is what kind of government emerges? Diverse opposition united around ending DPS reign, but differing views on NATO, relations with Serbia & Kosovo, rule of law, etc. Forward-looking or revenge-oriented. Momentum may be to tap technocrats.
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Damon M. Wilson Aug 31
Replying to @DamonMacWilson
Democratic Front has been anti-NATO. Some of its leaders implicated in 2016 coup; Russian links. Others in opposition pro-Western including 3rd party URA led by ethnic Albanian. Majority still exists for NATO in parliament. Certainly more so for EU.
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Damon M. Wilson Aug 31
Replying to @DamonMacWilson
Technocrats could gain public confidence. Retain credibility with EU on accession process. And be reliable within NATO. Watch out for who gets MOD/intel positions.
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Damon M. Wilson Aug 31
Replying to @DamonMacWilson
For EU: Work to ensure MNE continues to associate with EU on common foreign policy positions (e.g. sanctions). With MNE as front-runner in accession, discipline of EU process esp on rule of law can help MNE stay on course, tackle the tough issues, avoid selective prosecution.
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Damon M. Wilson Aug 31
Replying to @DamonMacWilson
For US: Key to show we stand by ally; engage parties, ensure any government based on fair ROL, continues MNE’s NATO commitments, continues constructive regional role (Kosovo); meets security and intel standards.
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Damon M. Wilson Aug 31
Replying to @DamonMacWilson
No matter what you think of the president and mixed record, he's the reason Montenegro became independent without bloodshed, joined NATO, and on track to EU. Smart for any govt to maintain core strategic course.
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