Former Pentagon official and present Senior Director of “Penn Biden Center”, Mr Michael Carpenter, says that the dialogue between the government and the opposition is the best solution when it comes to elections and reforms to be implemented. He said that Montenegro should be ready for Russian threats in the future, and that it should pay special attention to the influence of Russian dirty money.
“The best thing for Montenegro is a civilized dialogue between opposition and governing party. If they are able to reach an agreement on the reform of electoral legislation and other reforms, such as criminal prosecution in the cases of organized crime and corruption, then they might form a basis for elections in which all parties could take part and Montenegro would be able to strengthen its democracy”, said Mr Carpenter.
According to him, becoming NATO member was a huge success for Montenegro. However, more reforms still need to be implemented.
“If opposition and governing coalition could unite around one common national goal – achieving progress in the EU accession journey- that would be the best thing for Montenegro. In order for that to happen, both parties have to reach a compromise over the implementation of reforms. In my opinion, that would be the best possible scenario. I don’t know whether that’s going to happen or not, since some opposition members refuse to change their views on specific issues”, pointed out Mr Carpenter.
Mr Carpenter warns that Montenegro should be wary of potential Russian meddling in the run -up to the next elections. He says that particular attention should be drawn to the inflow of Russian money, dirty money as Mr Carpenter says.
“One should be prepared for similar Russian threats. Not necessarily for the coup attempt but meddling of other sort. The key thing that deserves special attention in Montenegro is the influence of Russian money. I would be very cautious about that in the next elections. You never know, they might as well use cyber attacks or other sort of attacks. Therefore, I’d say that people in Montenegro aren’t completely safe and that they should be prudent”, concluded Mr Carpenter.