Politics and Media
Montenegro is a parliamentary democracy in which power is divided into executive (the Government), legislative (the Parliament), and judicial. Montenegro also elects the country’s President in elections, although his power, according to the Constitution, is quite modest. The current Constitution of Montenegro, which is in effect, was adopted on 22 October 2007.
Montenegro officially declared its independence in 2006, and the first parliamentary elections in the independent Montenegro were held in the same year. So far, six parliamentary and four presidential elections have been held. The mandate of the Parliament lasts four years, while the President is elected for five years.
In June 2017, Montenegro became a NATO Member, which confirmed its strategic orientation towards the West and its Euro-Atlantic partners. Montenegro is the most advanced membership candidate for the EU, compared to the neighbouring countries. However, the lack of systemic reforms for years led the Montenegrin negotiation process into a deadlock.
In the last three decades since the collapse of communism, the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), and its long-lasting president Milo Đukanović, have absolutely dominated political life. Despite considerable economic and social progress, the transition from autocratic to democratic rule has been stretched in political disputes, lack of interparty dialogue, and widespread corruption among the highest echelons of power. Electoral processes have also been problematic and contested, mired in accusations of undue political influence and vote-buying allegations, and have yet to become fully free, transparent, and independent.
In the 2020 Parliamentary elections, Đukanović’s DPS lost the majority to the decades and years-long opposition. The period between the 2020 and 2023 elections was marked by political and institutional instability, the dissolution of two governments, and often unclear majorities in the Parliament of Montenegro.
In 2023, Montenegro held both national elections - Presidential and Parliamentary. In April 2023, in a Presidential Election, Jakov Milatović defeated a de-facto ruler of Montenegro for the last three decades - Milo Đukanović, former President and Prime Minister. In parliamentary elections in June, parties that opposed former president Đukanović and his Democratic Party of Socialists won elections, which led to the appointment of Milojko Spajić as the new Prime Minister on October 31.
Montenegro has a pluralistic and diverse media landscape, which is often polarized based on the political and ethnic divisions in the country. Montenegro is heavily burdened with dozens of cases of attacks on journalists and media in the past, which so far have not been resolved. In addition, Montenegro has a strong and vibrant civil society.