BELGRADE, December 3. /TASS/. The political situation in Montenegro has deteriorated sharply after the arrest of one of the leaders of the opposition group, the Democratic Front, Nebojsa Medovich, and an attempt to detain one more leader, Milan Knezevic. If no agreement is reached in the near future, it will likely spark massive protests, political scientist, member of the New Serb Democracy opposition party, Milos Simunovich, told TASS on Monday.
"The political situation in Montenegro has worsened, and we must admit that the crisis in the country is only deepening. The first huge protest of supporters of the Democratic Front took place last night, following which marches will be held daily from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm (8:00 pm - 10:00 pm Moscow time - TASS.) If the situation does not improve and no agreements are reached, it is very likely that some serious civil protests will kick off. I can feel that tensions are growing," the expert noted.
"The arrest of Nebojsa Medovich, leader of the opposition party Movement for Changes, was illegal and unconstitutional. His lawyers lodged an appeal but it was rejected. Milan Knezevic is currently at Skupstina, his arrest is also being prepared, and there is a possibility that he will be arrested today or tomorrow. Last night the police prepared to get into parliament, they only needed an approval of the speaker to do that," the analyst stated.
Medovich had been arrested in violation of international regulations, with no removal of parliamentary immunity. "Parliamentary immunity from Nebojsa Medovich hasn’t been removed, that’s a fact. Knezevic’s immunity was removed during the coup d’etat case, which is ongoing. Since Medovich’s immunity has not been lifted, his arrest was illegal with the process of the arrest raising many questions - just imagine that an MP had been arrested on his way home at midnight."
According to the expert, the Montenegrin government is sliding into dictatorship with Europe’s tacit support. "According to the high court, it is not punishment but just sanctions against Medovich. In fact, it means that they have found a loophole in law, on which basis a person can be kept in prison until he agrees to act as a witness in one of the corruption cases. I think that this is the latest practice of classical dictatorship, which has emerged in Montenegro and is backed by Europe. Medovich’s wife and Knezevic’s fianc·e sent a letter to the European leaders, but I personally do not put much hope on it because I think that Europe fully supports [President Milo] Djukanovic and his dictatorship, meaning he can do anything."
Nebojsa Medovich was arrested in the center of Podgorica overnight into Friday. Milan Knezevic, who had spotted the police preparing to detain him, barricaded himself inside parliament, and is still there. The politician previously told TASS that he was not going to voluntarily surrender.
The High Court in Podgorica issued a ruling to detain the politicians on Friday morning, after Medovich’s arrest. The opposition said that his arrest had been made without lifting parliamentary immunity, which was mandatory.
Medovich and Knezevic are members of the opposition group, the Democratic Front (DF), a coalition of ten opposition parties, of which the New Serb Democracy, Movement for Changes and Democratic People’s Party are seen as the most influential ones. The coalition traditionally stands for cooperation with Serbia and Russia, fiercely opposing the pro-Western policy pursued by the Montenegrin authorities. During preparations for Montenegro’s accession to NATO, the Democratic Front staged massive anti-NATO demonstrations, demanding that a referendum on the country’s membership in the North Atlantic Alliance be held.