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Montenegro's Parliament Approves New Pro-NATO Government

Montenegro's new Prime Minister Dusko Markovic
Montenegro's new Prime Minister Dusko Markovic

Montenegrin lawmakers have approved a new pro-NATO government led by Prime Minister Dusko Markovic -- a former head of intelligence and a close ally of longtime leader Milo Djukanovic.

The vote on November 28 came as Markovic pledged that his government would complete, by the end of 2017, the years-long process of Montenegro's integration into NATO.

Montenegro's membership in NATO is opposed by Russia and has been the source of political tensions following an alleged foiled election-day coup said to have been orchestrated by Russian nationalists seeking to thwart Podgorica’s NATO membership bid.

Markovic's Democratic Party of Socialists emerged as the strongest party in Montenegro's 81-seat parliament after the October 16 election, but lost its majority control.

However, it was able to form an alliance with Social Democrats and other parties that represent national minorities in order to gain the support of 41 deputies in the 81-seat legislature for the November 28 vote.

Opposition lawmakers boycotted the session.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP

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