Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Montenegrin Parliament adopts new draft constitution


PODGORICA, Montenegro -- Parliament approved the new draft constitution on Monday (April 2nd) by a vote of 65 to 2. However, the measure includes several alternative amendments, regarding the regulation of state symbols, official languages and religious communities, as the ruling coalition and the opposition failed to agree on common definitions. The draft is now subject to 30 days of public debate, after which a parliamentary committee will hammer out a final version of the proposal. If it fails to attract a two thirds majority in parliament, a referendum will be held at a cost of up to 1.5m euros. (Vijesti - 03/04/07; Mina, RTCG - 02/04/07)

18 comments:

Mark said...

What is Vasel Sinishtaj's position on the amendment process here? If anyone needs to step up and be more active it is he, especially now where the rights and freedoms of Albanians in Montenero are at stake, or should I say RISK?!?

Anonymous said...

What, is he still MP????

Anyhow, the issues surrounding ratification ofteh constitution include Albanian language rights as well as civicness, to say the very least.

Who is petitioning Parliament on the Albanian front? Who?

Mark said...

...regarding the regulation of state symbols, official languages and religious communities...

spells Albanians all over it

Anonymous said...

PODGORICA, Montenegro -- President Filip Vujanovic predicted on Tuesday (April 3rd) that there would be enough political support in Parliament to adopt the proposed new constitution, avoiding a costly national referendum on the issue. Vujanovic says a referendum would be a waste of time and money, and that any failure by politicians to reach consensus would raise questions about Montenegro's reform and integration processes. On Monday, lawmakers endorsed the draft and forwarded it to the public for debate, before final parliamentary approval.

Source: SE Times

Anonymous said...

There are not enough Albanians united to take this initiative.

In Macedonia the 800,000 Albanians there were significant, and therefore the agreement had sweeping changes that included more Albanian rights, but in regions such has Malesi, Ulqin, Plav, etc., there are (1) too few, and (2) fractured -- divisions between everyone.

You can forget about Vaseli, he is just a pundit of teh administration. His expertise in Parliament is elementary -- no skills, no experience. He won by default because the climate was right. We need help.

Anonymous said...

Just an up-date:

1. Mr Sinishtaj is not STIll an MP, but AGAIN an MP, this time as a representative of the Albanian Alterntive - a grass root intiative of citizens of Malesia, a political group with majority in the local Assembly of Tuz.

2. Mr Sinishtaj is working hard on the new Constitutional set-up, as well as on the upcoming Law on Territorial Organistion of Montenegro, trying to ensure protection of the interests of Albanians in Montenegro.

3. Mr Sinishtaj is the one who has recently used his constitutional right of speaking Albanian in the Parliament of Montenegro, for the first time in its history. A simbolic act, but an indicative one.

It is not only the number that counts - good organisation, extensive contacts with international organisations represented in MN, constant pressure on the government institutions, and a clear strategy for pursuit of Albanians' interests can also help.

Nik Gjurashaj said...

Response to your update:

1. This is a redundant statement; we all know this particular piece of info.

2. What is Sinishtaj doing exactly with re to the "constitutional set-up?" I haven't heard/read anything in the media (print, TV, radio, internet) that credits him having any real input on the constitution; In fact, the draft constitution was authored in Vienna and declared in Podgorica. I understand the amendment process is in full swing, but are there committees established for "editing" the constitution? If so, which one is he in, and more importantly is he the only voice/voting MP "fighting" for Albanian rights in the written constitution or otherwise? If you answer yes to this latter question we are in big trouble. Hence where are the NGOs/Diaspora/Kosova/Shqiperia?

3. Sinsihtaj IS NOT the first and only one to speak/have spoken Albanian in Parliament. Dinosha - although we may despise him - was in fact the first one a few years back (although its a mute point now).

And the numbers do count, albeit its not everything, but alas it is everything when the local population is split down the middle, with a slight majority heiring toward the status quo -- ie., "leave it alone and don't bother us with this sociopolitical bullshit." Disappointing views, but real nonetheless.

I need a damn drink!

Anonymous said...

Yesterday, the Parliament started a discussion on the proposition of the draft constitution, which was delivered by the Constitutive Committee with around 40 alternative solutions of pro-Serbian parties.

On the first day of the discussion, representatives could not agree on whether the national or citizen concept of the state will keep the heritage of Montenegro and whether the new elections should be announced after the adoption of the Constitution. President of the Parliament and the Constitutional Committee Ranko Krivokapic said that 85 percent of the text has been conciliated, and announced a democratic discussion on the Constitution.
(Vijesti)

Anonymous said...

BIRN exposes problems with new draft Constitution. Good article.

http://www.birn.eu.com/en/63/10/1936/?tpl=30&ST1=Text&ST_T1=Article&ST_AS1=1&ST_max=1

Anonymous said...

1. Vasel Sinishtaj is a member of the Constitutional Committee of the Parliament of Montenegro
2. V. Sinishtaj is arguing for incorporation of a separate section on human and minority rights in the Constitution, for the institute of alternative action, use of Albanian language as official, and he also announced support to the proposed amendments on citizenship, education in native language, minority rights, etc.
3. V. Sinishtaj is not the only one representong Albanians in Montenegro, and not only Albanians support Constitutional solutions that would guarantee their rights (e.g. prof. Nebojsa Vucinic is arguing for the princliple that international legislation should be given primacy over the Constitution of MN, esp. in the field of human rights)

Unfortunately, most of the information about the constitutional debate and positions is available only in local media...

Anonymous said...

Only time will tell my friend. You seem overly optimistic.

Anonymous said...

Are there any mroe albanians in the montengro governmnet besides Vaseli?

Anonymous said...

Are there any more albanians in the montengro governmnet besides Vaseli?

Anonymous said...

Vaseli is not in the Government, but in the Parliament. There are two Albanian national parties represented there (one led by F. Dinosha, the other by M. Bardhi), and there are Albanian MPs in other perties, but some of them actually do not act in the interest of Albanian people...

Anonymous said...

In the Government, there is Minister for protection of Human Rights and Minority Rights, Fuad Nimani, originally from the UDSH (Dinosha's party), so you can imagine how much he is contributing to the rights of Albanias...

Mark Juncaj said...

All the "hoopla" regarding Vaseli is that the climate for when he was elected "was" (and I stress the word was) such that Albanians were hungry for a change, emotions were running high and nationalism was at an all-time high.

Initiativa - ie., Citizens Initiative - was the platform from which Vaseli ran from; which originally called for a meager boycott of the referendum (we all know what effect that had). When Bardhi's party joined as a coalition, it somewhat strengthened the voter base and eventually upended Dinosha's party. Additionally, when Kol Lulgjuraj joined the coalition for the municipal government, they beat out any chance that Dinosha had to win majority in the pilot commune.

Therefore, Yes there are other members, but it was crucial that someone sympatheitic to Albanians from Malesia represent them, and Vaseli's victory cemented that hope, or we were all led to believe.

Time will tell how effective he will be as an MP, but with no political experience and little to no training it will be an uphill battle.

Anonymous said...

Can one single man ruin all the effort of the Iniciativa? Can't they relace him if he is not good enough?

Nik Gjurashaj said...

That is the democratic way now isn't it? But the problem here is this: Replace him with whom???