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Montenegro's New Parliament Holds First Session After Election; Djukanovic Absent

President Milo Djukanovic was absent from the inaugural parliamentary session on September 23.

PODGORICA -- Montenegro's parliament met on September 23 for the first time since last month's election, when President Milo Djukanovic's Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) lost power after three decades.

The new majority, which comprises three coalitions held together by little more than the ambition to dislodge Djukanovic and the DPS, has yet to agree on a new government.

Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic
Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic

Djukanovic was absent from the inaugural parliamentary session.

The leaders of the three coalitions -- Zdravko Krivokapic, Aleks Becic, and Dritan Abazovic -- said they want to form a government that will strengthen institutions that they say were weakened by decades of corrupt rule.

So far, however, talks have been marked by disagreements between the coalition partners, which, with 41 out of 81 seats, have a fragile majority.

The three sides "are likely to forge the government coalition," but feuding may quickly open the door for new elections that would offer a chance for the DPS to return, Boris Raonic, the head of the nongovernmental organization Civic Alliance, told state broadcaster RTCG on September 23.

Djukanovic has governed the tiny Balkan country since 1990, steering Montenegro away from its traditional alliance with Serbia and Russia, to join NATO in 2017. However, his critics accuse him of corruption, nepotism, and ties to organized crime. He has rejected the accusations.

With reporting by dpa