Markovi%C4%87 Cabinet
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Markovi%C4%87 Cabinet
Markovi? Cabinet
Flag of Montenegro.svg
41st Cabinet of Montenegro
Du?ko Markovi?.jpg
Date formed28 November 2016 (2016-11-28)
Date dissolved2 December 2020 (2020-12-02)
People and organisations
Head of governmentDu?ko Markovi?
No. of ministers20 (1 of them without portfolio)
Member partiesDPS, SD, BS, DUA, HGI
Status in legislatureCoalition government
Election(s)16 October 2016
Predecessor?ukanovi? VI Cabinet
SuccessorKrivokapi? Cabinet

The Markovi? Cabinet, led by Du?ko Markovi?, is the 41st cabinet of the Montenegro. Cabinet was elected on 28 November 2016 by a majority vote in the Parliament of Montenegro. The coalition government was composed of the Democratic Party of Socialists, the Social Democrats, and ethnic minority parties. Cabinet lasted until December 2020, and represents the eleventh and the last cabinet during the DPS-led regime in Montenegro that has been in power since 1990 and the establishment of the multi-party system in country.

Government formation

2016 election

Elections for the composition of new parliament of Montenegro were held on October 16, 2016 and resulted in a new victory for the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) led by long-term PM Milo ?ukanovi?, which has been in power since introduction of multi-party system in 1990.

Forming majority

Although the DPS failed to win the majority on its own,[1] they succeeded in remaining in power once again, forming a government with the newly formed Social Democrats (SD) and national minorities parties.

On 9 November 2016, Deputy PM Du?ko Markovi? was nominated as Prime Minister by the president of Montenegro Filip Vujanovi?, and on 28 November new government was elected by 41 out of 81 members of the parliament (with the entire opposition boycotting the assembly), with the support of DPS, SD and the Albanian, Croat and Bosniak minority parties.[2]

Investiture votes for Markovi? Cabinet
Ballot -> 28 November 2016
Required majority -> 41 out of 81
  • o None

Cabinet composition

Party breakdown


Portfolio Minister Party Took office
Prime Minister
General Affairs Du?ko Markovi? DPS 28 November 2016
Deputy Prime Ministers
Justice Zoran Pa?in none 28 November 2016
Agriculture and Rural Development Milutin Simovi? DPS 28 November 2016
Regional Development Rafet Husovi? BS 4 December 2012
Interior Mevludin Nuhod?i? DPS 28 November 2016
Defence Predrag Bo?kovi? DPS 28 November 2016
Finance Darko Radunovi? DPS 28 November 2016
Foreign Affairs Sr?an Darmanovi? none 28 November 2016
Education Damir ?ehovi? SD 28 November 2016
Science Sanja Damjanovi? DPS 28 November 2016
Culture Aleksandar Bogdanovi? DPS 28 December 2017
Economy Dragica Sekuli? DPS 28 November 2016
Transport and Maritime Affairs Osman Nurkovi? BS 28 November 2016
Sustainable Development and Tourism Pavle Radulovi? DPS 28 November 2016
Health Kenan Hrapovi? SD 28 November 2016
Human and Minority Rights Mehmet Zenka DUA 28 November 2016
Labour and Social Welfare Kemal Puri?i? BS 28 November 2016
Public Administration Suzana Pribilovi? DPS 28 November 2016
Sports Nikola Janovi? DPS 28 November 2016
Without Portfolio Marija Vu?inovi? HGI 4 December 2012

Controversy and affairs

In its political rights and civil liberties worldwide report in May 2020, Freedom House marked Montenegro as a hybrid regime rather than a democracy because of declining standards in governance, justice, elections and media freedom. Freedom House stated that years of increasing state capture, abuse of power, authoritative and populist leadership had tipped country over the edge, and for the first time since 2003, Montenegro was no longer categorised as a democracy. The report emphasised the unequal electoral process, cases of political arrests, negative developments related to judicial independence, media freedoms, as well as a series of unresolved cases of corruption within the DPS-led government.[3]

Electoral fraud and abuse of state resources

All 39 opposition MPs (out of 81 in total) started boycotting Parliament since the constitution of its current convocation in December 2016, due to claims of electoral fraud and that the elections were not held under fair conditions, at the 2016 parliamentary elections. They are demanding snap elections and reform of electoral laws.

In its June 2018 report, the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, called for election reforms in Montenegro, and for more integrity, impartiality, and professionalism in election administration.[4] The period before the 2020 parliamentary election also was marked by the high polarization of the electorate. Several corruption scandals of the ruling party triggered 2019 anti-government protests, while a controversial religion law sparked another wave of protests. Election observers OSCE stated: "Abuse of state resources gave the ruling party an unfair advantage", and said that although the elections were competitive, the governing party also benefited from a lack of independent media.[5]

Political trials against the opposition

Alleged plot and "Coup d'etat" case

A coup d'état in the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica was allegedly planned and prepared for 16 October 2016, the day of the parliamentary election, according to Montenegro's special prosecutor.[6] In September 2017, the trial of those indicted in connection with the plot began in the Higher Court in Podgorica, the indictees including leaders of the Montenegrin opposition and two alleged Russian intelligence agents. Russian government denied any involvement.[7][8] In 2019, the Higher Court found guilty of plotting to commit ?terrorist acts?, also of "undermine the constitutional order of Montenegro" and first instance sentenced 13 people, including Montenegrin opposition leaders. On 5 February 2021, the Court of Appeals of Montenegro annulled the first instance verdict on all counts of the indictment.[9] "The Council annulled the first-instance verdict because significant violations of the provisions of the criminal procedure were committed in the procedure of its passing and in the verdict itself, due to which neither factual nor legal conclusions could be accepted in the first-instance verdict, as in the existence of criminal offenses guilty, as well as in relation to the existence of their guilt for the acts ", it is stated in the announcement of the appellate court. The "coup d'etat" case was returned to the Higher Court in Podgorica, for a retrial before a completely changed composition. Many saw the decisions of the appellate court as a confirmation of then ruling Democratic Party of Socialists's mounted political process against its political opposition, and proof that the first instance verdict was passed under the pressure of the then DPS-led regime in Montenegro.[10]

Assault on journalist Olivera Laki?

In early May 2018 Olivera Laki?, an investigative journalist from the Montenegrin daily newspaper Vijesti, was shot and wounded in front of her house in Podgorica after she published a series of articles about allegedly corrupt businesses involving top state officials and their families.[11] The identity of the shooter is still unknown.[12]

Marovi? case and Budva affair

In 2016, then Vice President of the ruling DPS Svetozar Marovi? was arrested in connection to a long-running corruption case concerning his hometown of Budva; the Montenegrin prosecutor's office labeled him as "head of Budva criminal group," which he later admitted in court. He eventually fled to neighboring Serbia for alleged psychiatric treatment in Belgrade, where he currently resides. Montenegro has repeatedly requested his extradition from Serbia.[13]

In August 2020, Marovi? spoke to the media for the first time, after fleeing to Belgrade, accusing the leadership of the party he founded of corruption, nepotism, partocracy and authoritarianism, also accusing DPS leader Milo ?ukanovi? of rigging the corruption process against him and members of his family.[14]

The "Atlas" and "Envelope" affairs

In mid-January 2019, a video clip from 2016 surfaced in which fotlrmer DPS-led regime former ally, Montenegrin-British businessman Du?ko Kne?evi?, chairman of the Montenegro-based Atlas Group, appeared to hand the Mayor of Podgorica and high-ranked ruling party member, Slavoljub Stijepovi?, an envelope containing what Kne?evi? later said was $97,000, to fund a Democratic Party of Socialists parliamentary election campaign.[15] After fleeing to London, Kne?evi? told the media he had been providing such unreported money to the DPS for the past 25 years.[16]

Anti-corruption protests

Protests against corruption within Montenegrin DPS-lead government have started in February 2019 soon after the revelation of footage and documents that appear to implicate top officials in obtaining suspicious funds for the ruling party.

Controversial religion law and protests

After its ninth congress in November 2019, the ruling DPS dominantly increased its ethnic nationalist and even conservative discourse, by officially and institutionally supporting the rights of the canonically unrecognized Montenegrin Orthodox Church, announcing its "re-establishment".[17] As of late December 2019, the newly proclaimed religion law which de jure transfers the ownership of church buildings and estates from the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro to the Montenegrin state, sparked a series of massive protests followed with road blockages, which continued to 2020.

Government and police response

During the mass protests from December 2020 to August 2021, many Serb Orthodox clerics were attacked by the police, also being apprehended,[18] and a number of opposition journalists, activists and protesting citizens were also arrested and injured by the police forces.[19][20] PM Markovi? and ruling Democratic Party of Socialists officials, including president Milo ?ukanovi? and members of the cabinet blamed the Belgrade-based media and Government of Serbia for the current political crisis, destabilization and unrest across the country, claiming that the ongoing Church protests actually are not against the disputed law but "against Montenegrin statehood and independence." Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro categorically rejects that allegations.[21] President Milo ?ukanovi? called the protesting citizens "a lunatic movement".[22]

Foreign relations of Montenegro

In the 2020 election aftermath, President ?ukanovi? and the outgoing Markovi?'s DPS-led cabinet started pushing the narrative of "Montenegro being left to Serbia by the United States and the EU", although they are declaratively pro-western, which some media, NGOs and political analysts saw as a new turn in the foreign policy of the outgoing DPS regime.[23][24][25]

On 1 September, Milo ?ukanovi? conceded defeat, accusing Serbian President Aleksandar Vu?i? and Belgrade-based media of interfering in the internal politics of Montenegro, as well of alleged trying to revive a "Greater Serbia policy".[26] He stated that it is possible that his party lost its support due to dissatisfaction with some policy, but also due to manipulations from Belgrade, as well from the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, due to the disputed Law on Religious Communities.[26]

On November 28, 2020, Serbian ambassador to Montenegro Vladimir Bo?ovi? was declared persona non grata in Montenegro by then outgoing Markovi? cabinet, for alleged meddling in interior affairs of Montenegro and for making multiple statements that were "unacceptable for a diplomat" according to Montenegrin ministry of foreign affairs.[27][28] On November 28, 2020, in response to Montenegro declaring Serbian ambassador Bo?ovi? person non grata, Serbian ministry of foreign affairs declared Montenegrin ambassador to Serbia Tarzan Milo?evi? persona non grata and was given 72 hours to leave Serbia.[29] Next day Serbian prime minister, Ana Brnabi? revoked the decision by Serbian ministry of foreign affairs and Tarzan Milo?evi? wasn't expelled and wasn't persona non grata anymore, at the suggestion of the European Commission and European Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi. Outgoing DPS-led cabinet rejected the suggestion, calling European Commissioner Várhelyi "Belgrade-affiliated diplomat" and an "ignorant".[30]

Montenegro Airlines affairs and liquidation

In late 2020 it was uncovered that a number of individuals close to the ruling DPS party, such as controversial religious leader Mira? Dedei?, were given free tickets or significant discount for the flights of the Montenegro Airlines.[31]

In December 2020, the new government cabinet announced the shutdown and liquidation of the company in the forthcoming weeks stating mismanagement and accumulating losses for several years.[32][33] Shortly after, it has been announced that the airline will suspend all flights from 26 December 2020 marking the end of its operations.[34]

See also


  1. ^ Ovo su rezultati koje je proglasio DIK, Vijesti
  2. ^ Le Courrier des Balkans (29 November 2016). "Monténégro : un nouveau gouvernement qui ne tient qu'à une voix". (in French). Retrieved 2016..
  3. ^ "Nation in Transit 2020: Dropping the Democratic Facade" (PDF). Freedom House. Retrieved .
  4. ^ Balkan Insight (6 August 2020). "Opposition Faces Uphill Battle in Looming Montenegro Election". Archived from the original on 8 September 2020.
  5. ^ Marovic, Jovana (2 September 2020). "Winners and Losers in Montenegro's Earthquake Election". Balkan Insight. Archived from the original on 8 September 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ Bajrovi?, Reuf; Gar?evi?, Vesko; Kramer, Richard. "Hanging by a Thread: Russia's Policy of Destabilization in Montenegro" (PDF). Foreign Policy Research Institute.
  7. ^ "Sve o aferi dr?avni udar".
  8. ^ "U Crnoj Gori nastavljeno su?enje za dr?avni udar". Al Jazeera (September 2017).
  9. ^ Ukinuta presuda za 'dr?avni udar' u Crnoj Gori, DPS tvrdi rezultat pritiska na sud, Slobodna Evropa, 5 February 2021
  10. ^ Ukinuta presuda za "dr?avni udar": Po?injene bitne povrede odredaba krivi?nog postupka, Vijesti, 5 February 2021
  11. ^ Ranjena novinarka "Vijesti" Olivera Laki? Archived 2019-12-16 at the Wayback Machine, Vijesti
  12. ^ Tra?e se naru?ioci ranjavanja novinarke Archived 2019-10-03 at the Wayback Machine, Vijesti
  13. ^ Potpredsjednik Pa?in insistirao u Beogradu da Svetozar Marovi? bude izru?en Crnoj Gori Archived 6 February 2020 at the Wayback Machine, Vlada Crne Gore
  14. ^ Marovi?ukanovi? bi da je Crna Gora dr?ava samo onih koji glasaju DPS, trenutak je za promjene Archived 8 September 2020 at the Wayback Machine, Vijesti
  15. ^ Objavljen snimak: Kne?evi? uru?io kovertu Stijepovi?u
  16. ^ Kne?evi? protiv ?ukanovi?a i 'otimanja poslova' Archived 2019-02-22 at the Wayback Machine, Radio Slobodna Evropa
  18. ^ "Episkop Metodije, posle prebijanja u Crnoj Gori, hospitalizovan na VMA". Politika Online. Archived from the original on 2020-01-26. Retrieved .
  19. ^ Reuters (2019-12-30). "Montenegrin Protesters Clash With Police Over Religion Law". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2019-12-30. Retrieved .
  20. ^ Vojvodine, Javna medijska ustanova JMU Radio-televizija. "Marko Mila?i? uhap?en zbog ju?era?njeg protesta, Carevi? pozvao gra?ane Budve ve?eras na protest". JMU Radio-televizija Vojvodine. Archived from the original on 2020-01-16. Retrieved .
  21. ^ Cilj nam je da promijenimo zakon, a ne dr?avu Archived 2020-02-05 at the Wayback Machine, CdM
  22. ^ "?ukanovi?: "To je luda?ki pokret", DF: "Mi smo deo tog pokreta"". Independent Balkan News Agency. 2020-01-28. Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved .
  23. ^ Izjava Varheljija podriva objektivnost politike EU, "Va?a izjava je kompromituju?a", RTCG, 29 November 2020
  24. ^ Razvod sa partnerima sa zapada: Potezi koje povla?i DPS vode ih u zagrljaj DF-u i krajnjoj desnici, 10 December 2020
  25. ^ "Od lidera u regionu do opozicije zapadu: Sprema li DPS me?unarodni zaokret".
  26. ^ a b "Montenegro's President concedes defeat; says Belgrade rivaives Serb nationalism". N1. 1 September 2020. Archived from the original on 8 September 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  27. ^ "CRNA GORA PROTERALA SRPSKOG AMBASADORA: Bo?ovi? persona non grata". NOVOSTI (in Serbian). Retrieved .
  28. ^ FoNet, Pi?e. "SNP: Proterivanje ambasadora Srbije iz Crne Gore anticivilizacijski stav". Dnevni list Danas (in Serbian). Retrieved .
  29. ^ "Montenegro and Serbia expel each other's ambassadors". Retrieved .
  30. ^ "Serbia rescinds Montenegro ambassador expulsion". BBC News. 2020-11-29. Retrieved .
  31. ^ Stojovi?, Mladen (2020-12-31). "Montenegro Airlines za Mira?a TOTAL FREE, besplatno letjeli i Ana i Jefto". Objektiv Crna Gora (in Bosnian). Retrieved .
  32. ^ "Montenegro Closes Indebted National Airline". 25 December 2020.
  33. ^ (German) 25 December 2020
  34. ^ "Montenegro's indebted state airline ceases operations". CTV News. 2020-12-26.

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