Montenegro: OCCRP Deplores Allegations of Mistreatment
OCCRP is deeply disappointed in the Government of Montenegro’s latest ill treatment of anti-corruption activists in Montenegro.
MANS' monitoring of the recent elections in Podgorica discovered irregularities that raise serious questions about the fairness and integrity of the election process. Instead of investigating MANS findings, the government not only has dismissed the findings out of hand, but also took an antagonistic and aggressive stance toward MANS. Its behavior is not emblematic of a modern government. It raises questions about the commitment of the government of Montenegro to participatory democracy.
The NGO MANS is a long-time partner and OCCRP member of the OCCRP network. It has demonstrated courage and determination in investigating complex cases of corruption and organized crime. MANS and OCCRP, along with other media, have demonstrated repeatedly the ties between organized crime and high level government officials who are members of the ruling party and long-time colleagues and friends of Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic. These ties have not been investigated. Now the government appears to be failing to investigate what appears to be election fraud. It raises serious questions as to whether Montenegro can be considered a democracy or it is heading toward kleptocracy.
If the government is not a criminal organization, then we urge all responsible institutions to stop intimidating civil society groups and creating an environment of hostility and mistrust. We urge prosecutors to investigate ALL allegations of election fraud, to do it in an open and transparent manner and to do it quickly.
Only then can the public start to have trust in the system in Montenegro.