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Ruling Majority Threatens To Remove Montenegro’s President

Ruling Majority Threatens to Remove Montenegro’s President

The ruling majority has threatened to remove the president of Montenegro after he vetoed a law on religions.

By returning the law [to parliament] for a new vote, Djukanovic gave himself a yellow card. If he violates the Constitution, we will remove him!” deputy Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic warned President Milo Djukanovic on Saturday.

The president did not approve some amendments to the Law on Religious Freedom.

The law originally passed last year before the elections that brought the opposition to power. It stipulated that religious communities must prove with documents before 1918 that they own property, otherwise it will pass under state ownership.

It was a major cause for discontent and protests by the country’s Orthodox Church and opposition parties.

The new government emerging from the August 2020 election had promised to amend the law and make sure that the church keeps its assets.

Related amendments passed on December 29, backed by the 41 majority MPs, mainly consisting of pro-Serb parties. The opposition boycotted the vote.

The president’s office questioned the necessary quorum for the vote in parliament to take place.

The majority leader, Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic blamed President Djukanovic for undermining coexistence of different groups in the country. 

Once passed in parliament for a second time, the president cannot veto the law again.

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