After a brief period of silence, new instructions for Montenegrin opposition came from Russia through Sergey Zeleznyak – boycott needs to be continued. The Russian representative also demanded that DF and Democratic Montenegro (DCG) made up. The most important point by Zeleznyak was that the toppling of Montenegrin regime in the near future would only be possible if the opposition gathered around a common candidate in the presidential elections next year. Although Zeleznyak also mentions renewing requests for repeating general elections, it is clear that Moscow is trying to alarm opposition which seems torn by internal bickering, after the EU and the USA stated that October 2016 elections were fair, Pobjeda writes.
The brief instructions of Zeleznyak, a spokesperson for Russian aspirations in Montenegro, reveal more than it seems at first glance. First of all, the request for reconciliation between DF and DCG shows that Moscow identifies Mandic and Becic as leaders of program-like parties, the most important players in the opposition who should be the bearers of the pro-Russian and anti-NATO policies in Montenegro. They are tasked to “prevent a civil war NATO membership led to”. Therefore, although Aleksa Becic is publically trying to distance himself from the radical policy of DF and New Serb Democracy (NOVA), Moscow sees DF and Democrats as two sides of the same coin – political players that should prevent Montenegro’s path towards the West.
That is why Moscow is focused on preparations for the presidential elections scheduled for the spring of 2018 rather than on boycotting the Parliament.
Russian call on a unique opposition candidate represents a message to the parties presenting themselves as a civil opposition – SDP, URA, Demos and SNP – that they are only logistics for the axis to be made by DF and Democrats.
It is not a commendable position for the civil opposition, but it is Montenegrin reality, at least from Moscow’s perspective.
According to information obtained by Pobjeda, Russian guidelines indicate indeed that the opposition is not on the winning path.
This is also evidenced by the latest public opinion polls about the ratings of potential presidential candidates: the leaders of the strongest parties are best ranked.
According to an opinion poll conducted by a renowned agency seen by Pobjeda, if he ran for president, Milo Djukanovic would have more voter support than Aleksa Becic, Andrija Mandic and Ranko Krivokapic combined.
Djukanovic and Becic are best ranked. According to the survey, had the presidential election been held in June, DPS leader would have won 43.2% support, whereas 29.8%eould have voted for Becic.
NOVA leader Andrija Mandic is ranked third with 6.8% support and Ranko Krivokapic fourth with 3.8%.
The survey also shows that 16.4% voters have not decided yet who would they support.
It does not included potential presidential candidates Dritan Abazovic and Miodrag Lekic. Therefore, the opinion poll must be considered as a hint of political trends.
However, it is obvious that the Parliament boycott has not improved opposition ratings. What’s more, internal bickering has caused declining support and increased voter abstinence among opposition supporters.