Montenegro’s ruling party supporters protest after vote loss

PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — Several thousand protesters waving Montenegro flags gathered in the capital on Sunday in a show of support for the ruling pro-Western party, which could lose power if the pro-Serb and pro-Russian groups manage to form a ruling coalition.

Although Montenegro’s long-ruling Democratic Party of Socialists won the most votes in the Aug. 30 vote, a coalition of three opposition parties together narrowly won the most seats in the 81-seat parliament, enough for them to try form the next government.

Montenegro votes in tense election testing long-ruling party

PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — Voters in Montenegro on Sunday cast ballots in a tense election that is pitting the long-ruling pro-Western party against the opposition seeking closer ties with Serbia and Russia.

The parliamentary vote is marked by a dispute over a law on religious rights that is staunchly opposed by the influential Serbian Orthodox Church.

The issue has fueled divisions in the nation of 620,000 people that has defied traditional Slavic allies Belgrade and Moscow to become independent in 2006 and join NATO in 2017.

Montenegro health minister urges citizens to help keep country 'corona-free'

Podgorica (Montenegro), May 25 (AP/PTI) Montenegro's health minister has urged citizens to help keep the small Balkan country "corona-free" in the future after authorities said there are no more cases of infection at the moment.

Minister Kenan Hrapovic on Monday described the current situation in the country as a joint success of the health authorities and the citizen of Montenegro.

The Public Health Institute said Sunday that all of the 140 tests in the past 24 hours were negative and that there are no people currently reported sick with the virus.

Montenegro adopts law on religion amid protests by pro-Serbs

PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — Montenegro’s parliament adopted a contested law on religious rights early Friday after chaotic scenes in the assembly that resulted in the detention of all pro-Serb opposition lawmakers.

The vote followed a day of nationwide protests by supporters of the Serbian Orthodox Church who say the law will strip the church of its property, including medieval monasteries and churches. The government has denied that.

Montenegro police ban opposition rally against religion bill

PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — Police on Thursday sealed off the central part of Montenegro’s capital to prevent protests by pro-Serb opposition against a proposed law regarding religious communities and property.

Dozens of police officers put up metal barriers in Podgorica ahead of a parliamentary debate on the bill. Police said they banned the opposition rally because it had not been announced in time.

The draft law says religious communities would need to produce evidence of ownership of their property from before 1918, when Montenegro joined a Balkan kingdom.

Montenegro to deploy troops to stem migrant flows

21 Dec 2019; MEMO: Montenegro will deploy troops to its borders in response to a rise in the number of migrants passing through the country on a new Balkan route to the European Union, Reuters reports.

Nearly 8,000 migrants from the Middle East and North Africa transited Montenegro in 2019 en route to wealthier EU countries, nearly double the previous year’s total, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Pompeo in Montenegro as Trump impeachment inquiry picks up

PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is visiting Montenegro to show support for the NATO ally as a Ukraine-focused impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump picks up steam.

Pompeo arrived in Podgorica on Friday, a day after one of his former top aides told congressional investigators about efforts to press Ukraine’s government to open a corruption probe that could have targeted former Vice President Joe Biden’s son. Pompeo did not speak to reporters aboard his plane during the brief flight from Rome.

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