Church crisis as a turning point in Montenegrin politics?
The political landscape of the Western Balkans makes up a mosaic of unique governmental anomalies. It includes an abstruse, identity-determined Bosnian executive administration led by a tripartite presidential organ, the recent struggles of (North) Macedonians to find the least disputable name for their state, and the question of Kosovo’s independent status, which still being denied by almost half of the countries of the world. In such an array of political hallmarks that infamously adorn pages of textbooks on identity and democracy, the main topic of this article, Montenegro, could not just remain unmentioned. Despite a highly challenging competition from its neighbours, Podgorica can boast about having the longest (on a European scale) ruling statesman. Understanding the recipe for the political success of Milo Đukanović and his Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro (DPS), which has been exercising power for the previous thirty years, will be the key to comprehend the sources of the currently ongoing crisis.
At the end of December 2019, the Montenegrin Parliament approved a law that stirred up everyone and led to the scuffles inside as well as outside the building. The legal attempt regarding regulation of church properties’ status was taken unequivocally as a direct attack against religion and its followers. According to the new law, every religious