Several thousand Montenegrins rallied on Sunday in Podgorica at the invitation of the pro-Serbian opposition to protest against the government led by Milo Djukanovic on which the parliament will take a vote of confidence on Monday.
This was the first stage of protests organised by a part of the opposition gathered around the Democratic Front (DF), which brings together mostly pro-Serbian parties, and which at an improvised informal national assembly voted no confidence in Djukanovic's government and decided to form a transitional government to prepare "fair and democratic elections."
The protesters mostly carried Serbian flags.
The second stage of the protests will take place on Monday during an extraordinary parliament session at which confidence in the Djukanovic government will be discussed.
So far all opposition parties from the civic and Serb camps have stated their opposition to voting confidence in the government, except for the Positive Montenegro party. That party has prepared a plan for overcoming the political crisis and will offer it for adoption as a precondition for their support to Djukanovic. The support of that party, which has three seats in the parliament, is crucial for Djukanovic's staying in power considering that the Social Democratic Party of Ranko Krivokapic has walked out of the coalition with Djukanovic's Democratic Party of Socialists after 18 years.
The only parties that support Djukanovic are the Croatian Civil Initiative, the Bosniak and Albanian parties and the Liberal Alliance. They together have 39 deputies in the parliament, which is two votes short of the 41 votes needed to vote confidence in the government.
Deputies of the Positive Montenegro party have recently received a warning from the European Parliament to be careful about how to vote so that forces that oppose Montenegro's accession to NATO and support Russia's policy do not come to power.