Montenegro's government agreed, pro-Western course to continue

The leaders of the three main opposition groups in Montenegro signed a coalition agreement on Wednesday to form the next government and sought to alleviate fears that they would steer the small Balkan state off its pro-Western course and back toward traditional allies Serbia and Russia, news wires reported.

The agreement says that Montenegro will abide by all international obligations undertaken by the previous government, including strengthening ties with NATO and speeding up “all necessary reforms” for membership of the EU. “The new democratic government will be pro-European, pro-Western and pro-Montenegrin,” Aleksa Becic, the leader of the “Peace is Our Nation” group, said after the signing of the coalition deal.

Although Montenegro’s long-ruling Democratic Party of Socialists of President Milo Djukanovic

won the most votes in the election on 30 August, the coalition of the three opposition parties together narrowly took the most seats in the 81-seat parliament, enough for them to form the next government.

The coalition party leaders said that the priority of the new cabinet will be economic development and the fight against endemic corruption which has been one of the main burdens of previous governments.

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