Political director of DPS, Mr Branimir Gvozdenović, said in the interview for Pobjeda that he “is satisfied with the election climate, especially with his party’s contribution to the optimization of election and other legislation”. He pointed out that date of elections was adequate and that opposition was revealing its own weaknesses by trying to prolong elections.
Has DPS started election campaign and if it has, in what way is it conducted?
DPS has never regarded elections as ad hoc event. As constant winners, we are constantly in the campaign because we have two tasks: to implement election program, and offer even more ambitious plan for the next four-year period. Proof of our success in the implementation of previous election programs is the continuity of our victories and the new program we are offering to voters is the recipe for another triumph.
This campaign is much more different than previous ones. I mean primarily epidemic situation which conditions new way of conducting. Apart from traditional activities in the campaign, special focus will be on digital and online platforms. I firmly believe we are going to show more innovative approach to our policy. We are also preparing something brand new in terms of special target groups.
To what extent will the epidemic situation have an impact on pre-election activities? How did you adapt to new circumstances?
The epidemic situation and the climate in which elections will be held will depend on how much the society is committed to adhering to the measures. Having regard to the fact that the state has reacted appropriately and timely, citizens assume the biggest responsibility. I am sure we are going to demonstrate full responsibility to preserve health and provide favorable climate for one of the most important event in the political life of a state.
It’s not very difficult to adapt to everything that is a prerequisite for preservation of public health. We are en example of how to act in the new situation. All activities we organize are performed in accordance with the recommendations.
According to some parties, elections should be postponed. What’s your opinion on that?
Judging by the current epidemic situation and forecasts of healthcare professionals, I think the date of the elections is adequate and they should be held, with absolute adherence to all measures and recommendations.
I have to admit that I find it strange that the opposition disagrees with the date. Opposition, by rule, always wants elections to be held as soon as possible, but Montenegrin opposition is obviously not such example. By wishing to prolong elections, the opposition is only revealing its weaknesses and pessimism.
During the period between two election cycles, there was talk about election reforms. How do you see the climate in which parliamentary and local elections will take place? Are you satisfied with what has been done in that context?
Regardless of the fact that we think the election climate for all previous elections was a quality climate, we have always expressed willingness foe the improvement of conditions in which elections are held. We have initiated work on further election reforms two times.
In 2017, for the first time, when DPS parliamentary working group emerged which continued the work on draft versions of the regulation we had prepared, As a result of that initiative, three out of four laws related to elections and election climate have been amended.
DPS has also initiated formation of the Committee on further reform of electoral legislation. Unfortunately, due to constant obstructions by opposition, the Committee failed to complete its mission.
I am very satisfied with the election climate, especially with the party’s contribution to the optimization of election and other legislation. We have shown willingness to improve election regulations despite the fact that we always win.
Two laws from the set of media laws have been adopted, but not as a result of consensus but by the will of parliamentary majority. Can that fact be disturbance to the climate in which elections are held?
The laws you are mentioning were within the framework of the Committee. You should ask the opposition about the reasons for refusal to make contribution to proposed solutions. We think those solutions are good. I don’t think anything that is in the interest of the improvement of the overall election climate could be disturbance to the elections.
What will DPS election program be based on?
Results achieved so far are basis for the economic progress.
We have started and resumed a huge number of development projects aimed at improving quality of life of citizens and creating conditions for further economic development. Key priority of DPS policy is creating conditions for the improvement of quality of life tailored to suit citizens of modern Europe. Further improvement of business environment, strengthening macroeconomic stability and increasing competitiveness of the economy are prerequisites for attracting investments and bigger chances for national entrepreneurs.
Health and economic crisis provoked by the coronavirus pandemic has posed challenges for our economy. Therefore, our program will be adequate response to the crisis but also a chance and signpost for further development. Long-term development of tourism on the basis of the defined concept should result in diversified tourist product which is based on available natural, anthropogenic and ecological resources.
Apart from that, new development concept in the sector of agriculture opens up new possibilities for new production, new jobs, new value, new important economic growth and a new step towards our ultimate objective – reaching European quality of life.
What is particularly important, judging by some current phenomena and awakening of the spirits from the past, is the need for further committed work to strengthening open, civil and democratic society of European values. We must not allow anyone to darken these values by rewriting the history.
Additionally, our party recognizes values young people should have and we are going to focus on support for their life and work in this country.
Through NATO membership and our active role in multilateral and bilateral forums, we have established foundations of new value system in Montenegro and provided citizens and economy reliable and safe future. We are going to continue creating new chances and opportunities for further economic prosperity, international integrity and respect for Montenegro.
How is DPS preparing for local elections? Do you intend to include some other parties in the coalition, having regard to the current affairs in Budva?
We have witnessed accusations for our political competition in relation to the alleged reshaping of citizens’ free will, after taking over government in Budva and Kotor. Such accusations are paradoxical, given the fact that DPS has been enjoying greatest trust of residents in these municipalities since 2016.
As some opposition parties have decided to enter non-principle coalitions after the elections in 2016, we can conclude that such maneuvers in forming local government are perfect examples of reshaping citizens’ will.
We are glad to see that some parties at local level have acknowledged their mistakes and corrected them. Our openness to the resumption of successful story of development of Kotor and Budva is unquestionable and we are ready for wide consensus of parties that want good.
Chief of the DPS club of MPs said that pre-election campaign would be the best political offer so far. What does that encompass?
As Mr Rakočević said, DPS list will definitely be the best political offer. With best programs and development vision, staff policy is special comparative advantage of DPS.
The best-quality staff policy is our duty to voters and Montenegro. Ambitious election programs are worth nothing if we don’t have adequate staff potential to respond to the challenge of the realization of the program. The list will have over 50% of new candidates.
We are finalizing the list of professional, responsible, committed people in Montenegro, who will take out the burden of elections and get the greatest support from citizens. The rejuvenation trend of our candidates will continue. There will be many new, less known people, but very capable people.
DPS president, Mr Milo Đukanović, won’t be the head of the list for the first time. Why?
Mr Đukanović’s name is in the name of the list. As president of Montenegro, he is not a candidate, in accordance with the law.