Last week the assistant of the US Secretary of state for European Affairs and Eurasian Affairs Hoyt Brian Yee arrived in Podgoritza. During the visit he expressed support for the ruling “Democratic party of socialists” (DPS) of Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic and met with its leaders. The American diplomat also held talks with the part of the opposition intending to “test the waters” and offer an Alliance with DPS in exchange for various incentives.
Previously the country had been also visited by the assistant Secretary on Affairs of Europe and Eurasia Victoria Nuland decided to make sure that the election campaign is in the “right” way and gone with accordance to the advance planned scenario. Having such a powerful “Western rear” Djukanovic’s deputy Dusko Markovic in an interview without a twinge of conscience confidently declared that the victory of DPS in the parliamentary elections is not in doubt.
Numerous media publications on the “merit” of the current Prime Minister plus colorful posters and billboards depicting Djukanovic and pointing a new future according to the standards of NATO and EU on the streets of Montenegrin cities must convince the population to vote for DPS.
In addition to the aggressive campaign under the leadership of the hired foreign political consultant the ruling party uses techniques like “soft” and “rough” power: from bribing voters and opposition leaders to attracting criminal gangs with the aim of exerting pressure on opponents.
However such efforts require considerable financial expenses. It is unlikely that Djukanovic and his team are waging the electoral campaign on their salary. The funds of local sponsors are not sufficient enough to pay the exorbitant spending of DPS.
The famous corruption feature of the political regime of Djukanovic is so famous that not only local but even foreign media write about it. According to Italian journalist Francesco de Paolo during the almost 26 years of the Djukanovic reign Montenegro has established itself as a “mafia state” where human rights are constantly violated and murder of independent journalists who opposed the regime are not investigated.
One of the main sources for the DPS election campaign is deliberately misused help of some Western patrons through the local NGOs and branches of foreign non-commercial organizations such as USAID, NED, NDI, Transparency International, the Open Society Foundations, The Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Marshall Fund, the Rockefeller Foundation, etc. Often those institutions even do not know for what their money goes.
The use by Djukanovic and his associates of administrative and financial resource plays significant role during the polls. Some time ago the Prime Minister promoted the privatization of 80% of the state mostly industrial enterprises. The remaining part is to be sold by “skilled” Montenegrin officials with the help of which the money bypasses the state budget.
Meanwhile the government of Montenegro reports about the upturn in the economy and increase foreign investment. Funds seem to be invested in the country but once again ordinary people could enjoy the gains only on the paper. For example last year the development Fund of Abu Dhabi granted the Ministry of agriculture and rural development of Montenegro a loan of 50 million euros. These funds were intended for expansion of agricultural production in Montenegro with the prospect of exports to the UAE and creation of more than 2,000 job places. However the expectations of the Montenegrins as the Emirati lenders once again failed to materialize. Nobody knows on what the first tranche of 20 million euros was spent, but there were suggestions that the Minister of agriculture Petar Ivanovic stashed them for Mr. Djukanovic.
Milo Djukanovic nearly having brought the country to economic collapse continues to squeeze from Montenegro last sources to hold Parliamentary elections successfully for DPS. He does not skimp on advertising being silent that money spent were stolen from the people and that “promising” future from the Prime Minister will lead to even greater enslavement of the Montenegrins.