President’s party withdraws support for Prime Minister Abazovic’s cabinet

July 07, 2022, Austria, Vienna: Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Montenegrin Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic hold a joint press conference after their meeting in Vienna. Photo: Florian Schrötter/BKA/dpa – Florian Schrötter/BKA/dpa

Montenegro’s government is going through a crisis, after President Milo Djukanovic’s Democratic Party of Socialists (PDS) declared that it is withdrawing its support for Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic’s cabinet.

The decision comes after the Montenegrin government signed an agreement with the Serbian Orthodox Church, whose leadership does not fully recognize Montenegro’s independence.

Although the draft agreement would normalize relations with the church, disagreements over it could now lead to the fall of the government.

Most religious people in Montenegro are members of the Belgrade-controlled Serbian Orthodox Church.

Abazovic, who heads the small liberal environmentalist URA party, heads a minority government that depends on PDS support for the country’s pro-Western president, Milo Djukanovic.

The PDS has the strongest group in parliament, but, together with its pro-Western allies, does not have the absolute majority of 41 of the 80 deputies needed to pass a no-confidence motion against Abazovic’s government in April.

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