Montenegro Opposition Close to Deal in Niksic

Opposition coalition deal now likely in the town after difficult talks between the various parties.Representatives of two opposition forces, Positive Montenegro and the Democratic Front, were close to reaching an agreement on forming the local authority in Niksic, it was stated after Thursday’s meeting.

The two political formations, along with another opposition force, the Socialist People’s Party, won a majority of votes in the local elections in the town, which were organized on October 14, parallel with the general election.

They are trying to reach a coalition deal to oust from power Montenegro’s ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS, which previously ran the town.

Positive Montenegro last week said that it was ready to work with the other opposition parties but only if they were willing to accept its political principles, which included distancing themselves from the policies of Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serbian leader, and cooperation with Kosovo.

It also wants the other parties to openly condemn war crimes committed on the territory of former Yugoslavia, and the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in particular.

However, New Serbian Democracy, which is one of the main constituents of the Democratic Front, fiercely opposed Montenegro’s 2008 decision to recognize Kosovo independence.

Miodrag Lekic, the Front’s leader, on the other hand, in a public appearance prior to October vote, condemned the Srebrenica massacre but failed to characterise it as an act of genocide.

Talks between the three parties began last Friday. While the Socialist People’s Party said it was willing to compromise, the Democratic Front appeared unhappy with Positive Montenegro’s conditions.

One of its leaders, Miodrag Lekic, said that he saw no reason why foreign policy issues should be seen as of greater importance than the dramatic economic situation in Niksic.

Thursday’s meeting of representatives of Positive Montenegro and Democratic Front delivered a more optimistic message, and representatives of the political formations said that they believed that the final agreement will be reached.

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