Judging by what the governing majority has done so far within working groups and in cooperation with NGO sector and academic community, I think it would be quite reasonable to believe that activities related to the reform of electoral legislation would be completed within the established deadline. Political subjects that want stability of this country must be willing to put in effort. Neglecting parliamentary dialogue and recommendations of the OSCE and European Commission would mean assuming responsibility for instability, which would lead us wrong direction, says in the interview for Dnevne novine, Mr Nikola Rakočević, chief of DPS caucus.
Mr Rakočević says that no deal with DPS can be reached by blackmail.
Committee on the Reform of Electoral and Other Legislation whose formation was initiated last year by DPS was finally completed on 23 August. Do you believe that you will be able to find solutions by joint efforts?
Mr Rakočević: The intention of DPS is to stimulate process of democratization in Montenegro permanently, particularly by improving electoral environment.
Turnout in the parliamentary elections in 2016 was over 72% which indicates great trust citizens have in the election process. However, we are ready to further improve electoral legislation, in accordance with OSCE and EC recommendations.
Opposition in Montenegro has shown what it has been opposition for so long. Inconsistency and political unpredictability puts them on the margin of political stage.
We are optimistic and we believe that opposition will eventually agree to take part in the Committee where we have already prepared some serious solutions that should serve as a platform for the dialogue.
After the Committee had been established, Socialist Democratic Party (SDP) invited the opposition to make a deal on joint platform and creation of conditions for free and fair elections. Could there be more conditions, such as insisting on the establishment of technical government…?
Mr Rakočević: I’m glad to see that part of the opposition has expressed readiness to take part in the dialogue. Lack of democratic capacity can’t lead to rational solution, and politics is supposed to be very rational activity.
After a storm of calculations, lies, false news and immaturity, it’s not easy to make an analysis. Besides, I don’t think it’s necessary as it is clear that nobody can make deals with DPS based on blackmailing. Therefore, we are going to have very open talks within the Committee about all the proposals related to the elections in 2020.
Two members of Democrats entered the Committee. They are constantly pointing out that DPS has accepted their plan, that it has capitulated to it. However, DPS has initiated setting up this authority in order to build up public trust…
Mr Rakočević : Today, after 30 years of superior state policy, DPS is more committed to issues of paramount importance and a lot less to daily political media arguments and paid promotion campaigns. The first Decision, which was rejected by part of the opposition, differs in only 4 items in comparison to the second one, which opposition members find acceptable. Even it is was different, if the decision was substantially different, DPS would accept it if it is for the good of our citizens. That’s the difference between mature and infant politics.
Democrats are now talking about “technical government”.
Mr Rakočević: DPS agreed that technical government isn’t acceptable.
Democratic Front (DF) has “frozen” their participation in the Committee because the Agreement on Future has been violated. Do you believe that DF will come back?
Mr Rakočević: I’ll remind you that DF agreed to take part in the Committee and they attended all meetings. There was no dilemma that adoption of defined laws will improve the election process. I don’t see any reason why DF should give up on the Committee. However, I believe it depends on the relations within the opposition itself.
Amendments to the Decision on the Committee on the Reform of Electoral and Other Legislation stipulate that this body should propose new, improved solutions until 15 November. Is it achievable?
Mr Rakočević: It is, judging by the achievements of the governing coalition constituted so far. I’m encouraged by the representatives of academic community and civil sector and their contribution. We are looking for more fruitful and constructive political autumn.
Chances are to be looked for in the elections
Committee should form a supervision body for monitoring application of adopted laws. What will be responsibilities of that body?
Mr Rakočević: Supervision body will be exercising control over the adopted laws. The composition hasn’t been defined yet. It should be made up of representatives of the government, opposition, academic community and civil sector. Such form isn’t very common in the European practice, but it doesn’t affect state system.
Technical government has turned out to be a failure and it would seriously jeopardize democratic progress of the country.
FALSE NEWS DISTORT REALITY
In the extraordinary Parliamentary session, one could often hear that DPS is “forced” to make a deal. Did our international partners exert some pressure?
Mr Rakočević : DPS hasn’t been under pressure of international community or anybody else. And who might have been under pressure? You draw a conclusion yourself.