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Deadline Nears On Senior Ruling Bloc's Call For New Montenegrin Prime Minister


Montenegrin Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic

The fate of Montenegro's government hangs in the balance as a senior ruling group's deadline nears for the current coalition to jettison Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic.

The mostly pro-Serbian coalition has ruled the Balkan nation of 620,000 or so with a razor-thin parliamentary majority for nearly a year.

Instead of steady progress on reforms to further its EU aspirations, the government has mostly been hobbled by infighting over the fight against corruption, statements on war guilt from conflicts in the 1990s, relations with neighboring Serbia, and the timing of local elections in key cities.

Krivokapic was picked to lead a disparate coalition government that was mostly united by a desire to oust the longtime ruling allies of President Milo Djukanovic.

The ruling coalition's strongest bloc, the strongly pro-Serbian Democratic Front (DF), set a November 12 deadline for Krvokapic's exit and a government reshuffle or it would force a no-confidence vote.

The crisis within the nearly dozen ruling parties has intensified over individual ministerial appointments and calls by the two largest blocs for party loyalists to replace Krivokapic's "cabinet of experts" appointed after the August 2020 elections.

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