Monday, December 31, 2012

Gëzuar Vitin e Ri 2013

Urime dhe Gezuar  Vitin e Ri 2013!  Zoti i bekofte Shqiptaret kudo qe jane! 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gëzuar 100 vjetori i Pavarsisë së Shqipërisë


As with many events of Albanian history, the declaration of independence of 1912 was somewhat of an impromptu affair. The Ottoman Empire collapsed in the first Balkan War that began in October 1912 and the Albanians found themselves in an extremely awkward position. Their leaders were more concerned about the coalition of neighbouring Christian forces (Montenegro, Serbia and Greece) than they were about the weakened Ottoman military presence in their country. What they wanted was to preserve the territorial integrity of Albania. Within two months, Ottoman forces had all but capitulated, and it was only in Shkodra and Janina that Turkish garrisons were able to maintain position. The very existence of the country was threatened.

It was at this time that Ismail Kemal bey Vlora (1844-1919), also known in Albanian as Ismail Qemali, returned to Albania with Austro-Hungarian support and, at the head of a swiftly-convened national assembly, declared Albanian independence in the town of Vlora on 28 November 1912. The declaration was more theoretical than practical because Vlora was the only town in the whole country under the delegates’ control―yet it proved to be effective in the vacuum of power. Though Albanian independence was recognised de facto on 17 December 1912 at the London Conference of Ambassadors, it was not until 29 July 1913, after the second Balkan War and the solving of the delicate problem of Shkodra, that the international community agreed to recognise Albania as a neutral, sovereign and hereditary principality.

Given below is a report, published in the Vlora newspaper “Përlindj’ e Shqipniës,” describing the events leading up to the Declaration of Independence in Vlora, and then the short text of the Declaration itself.

The National Assembly, composed of delegates from all over Albania and convening here in Vlora, opened today at four in the afternoon at the house of Xhemil bey.

Ismail Kemal bey, as the prime initiator of the gathering, took the floor and explained to the delegates the purpose of the assembly, that is, that they all must strive to do what is necessary to save Albania from the great perils it is now facing.

According to rules and customs, they began by checking the documents of the delegates, whose names are as follows:

from Berat: Elias bey Vrioni, Hajredin bey Cakrani, Xhelal bey Skrapari, Dut Karbunara, Taq Tutulani and Sami bey Vironi (the latter still awaited),
from Dibra: Mufti Vehbi Efendi,
from Durrës: Abas Efendi, Mustafa Agai and Jahja Efendi (still awaited), Dom Nikollë Kaçorri from the Archbishop of Durrës for all Albanian Catholics under his administration,
from Elbasan: Shefqet bey Daiu, Lef Nosi, Qemal bey and Mid’hat bey Frashëri,
from Gjinokastra [Gjirokastra] by telegram: Azis Efendi, Veli Efendi, Elmas Efendi,
from Ipek [Peja]: Rexhep Bey, Bedri Bey, Salih Gjuka and Mid’hat bey Frashëri; these gentlemen are the delegates of Gjakova, Plava and Gucia,
from Kruja: Abdi bey Toptani and Mustafa Asim Efendi,
from Lushnja: Kemal Bey, Ferid bey Vokopola and Nebi Efendi Sefa,
from Ohrid and Struga: Zyhdi Bey, Dr. Myrtezai and Nuri Efendi Sojliu,
from Sh’Jak [Shijak]: Xhemal Bey, Ymer Beu and Ibrahim Efendi,
from Tirana: Abdi bey Toptani and Murad bey Toptani,     
from Vlona [Vlora]: Ismail Kemal Bey, Zyhni Efendi, Aristidhi Ruci, Kjazim Kokoshi, Jan Minga and Ekrem Bey,
from the Albanian colony of Bucharest: Dhimitër Zografi, Dhimitër Mbroja, Dhimitër Beratti and Dhimitër Ilua [Ilo] (the latter still awaited).

After checking the documents, Salih Gjuka took the floor and stated that since Korça was currently surrounded by the army and could not send delegates, since its patriotic spirit was known and since in their midst there were gentlemen from Korça known, too, for their patriotism, these men, Pandeli Cali, Athanas Floqi and Spiro Ilua, should be recognised as representatives of Korça. The gathering gave its unanimous agreement to this and approved this decision.

Mustafa Asim Efendi requested that Shkodra, for its part, that was in a worse state than Korça, be represented by Luigj Gurakuqi who had represented it in the other national gatherings and who was one of the initiators of that meeting. The assembly once again gave its unanimous approval and agreed to Luigj Gurakuqi representing Shkodra.

From Përmet came telegrams stating that if its delegate, Veli bey Klisura, did not get to Vlora, he should be represented by Syreja bey Vlora and Mid’hat bey Frashëri.

Another telegram arrived from Hamdi bey and Mustafa Barotçiu who announced that they, too, would be arriving as delegates for Ohrid and Struga.

Thereafter, Rexhep bey took the floor and stated that Ismail Kemal bey ought to be elected chairman of the assembly, Luigj Gurakuqi as first secretary and Shefqet bey Daiu as second secretary. The delegates agreed to this request and elected the proposed men, who were heartily applauded.

The issue of voting was then brought to the fore and, after much discussion, it was decided that each region (kaza) should have only one vote, irrespective of the number of delegates it had.

Mustafa Asim Efendi pleaded that the present Albanian question and the country’s situation ought to be made very clear to European public opinion.

The chairman, Ismail Kemal Bey, then took the floor and, in an ardent, fluid and reasonable speech, stated that although they had always been faithful to the Ottoman Empire, the Albanians had never forgotten their own language and nationality, the best proof of this being the endeavours and uprisings that had taken place from time to time, in particular over the last four years, to preserve their rights and customs. The Ottoman Government had never taken their interests into consideration and had never been willing to recompense the Albanians for the great services they had rendered. It had recently shown some interest in coming to an understanding with our people, but had not given proof of good faith and had not taken all the steps needed to appease and satisfy the Albanians. War had recently broken out with four countries in the Balkans that were seeking change and rights for their peoples, united by their ethnicity and religion.

Later, these countries put aside their initial objective and, as the war was going well for them, they agreed to divide the Empire up among themselves, including Albania. Realizing that the Turkish army had been defeated and that the Empire would not survive, the Albanians, who had played a greater role in the fighting than the soldiers, hastened to take requisite steps in their own interests as owners of the country. For this reason, Ismail Kemal bey departed for Istanbul and, having come to an understanding with the Albanians of Bucharest, too, set off for Vienna where he reached an agreement with the Great Powers that had vital interests in the Balkans. As there was no more hope of saving Albania by means of arms, the only road to salvation was to separate Albania from Turkey. Ismail Kemal bey promoted this idea and objective, that was well received by all the Great Powers, in particular by Austria and Italy.  It was only Russia that remained somewhat hostile to the idea because of the Slavs, but it did not deny the existence of Albania and an Albanian people. To realise this objective, he invited all Albanians to gather in Vlora and was delighted today to see that his call had not been in vain, and that delegates had been sent from all parts of Albania to reflect together on ways to save the Fatherland. According to Ismail Kemal Bey, the most urgent measures that the Albanian nation must take today are these: that Albania be independent under a provisional government; that a council of elders be elected to assist and supervise the government; and that a commission be sent to Europe to defend Albanian interests among the Great Powers.

The delegates unanimously agreed with the words of Ismail Kemal bey and resolved that Albania, as of today, should be on her own, free and independent under a provisional government.

This decision was greeted by endless applause from all sides. The meeting was adjourned until the following day and the delegates went out and greeted the flag that was raised at five thirty in the afternoon.

Ismail Kemal bey was chosen as president of the Provisional Government and Dom Nikollë Kaçorri as its vice-president.


in Vlora, on the 15th/28th of November 1328/1912.

Following the speech made by the President, Ismail Kemal Bey, in which he spoke of the great perils facing Albania today, the delegates have all decided unanimously that Albania, as of today, should be on her own, free and independent.

/signatures of the following persons, here given in alphabetical order/

Dhimitër Beratti
Elmaz efendi Boce
Hajredin bey Cakrani
Pandeli Cale
Shefqet Daiu
Ymer bey Deliallisi
Vehbi efendi Dibra
Abaz efendi Dilaveri [Çelkupa]
Qemal bey Elbasani [Biçaku]
D. Emanuel
Thanas V. Floqi
Mid’hat bey Frashëri
Luigj Gurakuqi
Salih Gjuka
Veli Harçi
Spiro T. Ilo
Dom Nikollë Kaçorri
Zihni Abaz efendi Kanina
Jorgji Karbunara
Xhelal bey Koprencka
Dhimitër Zografi
Qazim Kokoshi
Mustafa Asim Kruja
Jani Minga 
Rexhep bey Mitrovica 
Qemal bey Mullaj
Dr. H. Myrtezai
Lef Nosi
Zuhdi bey Ohriti
Bedri bey Pejani
Aristidh Ruçi
Nebil efendi Sefa Lushnja
Nuri efendi Sojliu
Abdi bey Toptani
Murat bey Toptani
Dhimitraq N. Tutulani
Abdyl Aziz Vehbi
Ismail Kemal bey Vlora
Ferit bey Vokopola
Iljaz bey Vrioni
Xhemalyddin Bey [...]

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Albanians Anxious to Go to Bed with the DPS

Representatives from Forca, the Bosnian and Croatian Initiative Party tonight signed a common platform on which defined the conditions for talks on forming the coalition's parliamentary majority in Montenegro.
The meeting between the representatives of these entities was private, without the presence of the media.
The platform was signed by Nazif Cungu, Marija Vucinovic and Rafet Husovic.
Details on the platform were not made public by the signatories.
According to media reports, the platform is based on solving the problems that plague minorities in Montenegro, the improvement and enhancement of their status, economic situation, social and other spheres.
"Strength for the Union" is to be expected that one of the basic requirements should be the Municipality of Malesia, the use of national symbols, marine goods, and so on.
Although the agreement has not been made public, it evidently seems that the Devil himself might be in the details.  Without any concessions to the Albanian parties, and to their constituents respectively, Force is hastily obliging to a dangerous precedent.  First, any agreement with the majority should be on conditions that Malesia is returned the status of full Municipality, with no less guarantees than those already in existence.  Second, by joining the Bosnian and Croatian parties and forming a coalition of minorities, the Albanians are accepting their identity as a minority at the same level as other ethnic groups.  Why is this problematic?     Albanians are national minorities inhabiting a region that is historically their homeland.  This is not true for other ethnies.  As a result, forming a coalition with these other groups and arguing that you deserve the same rights, protections and guarantees will render a result that will forever diminish your rightful status in your very own homeland.  Albanians are now playing this dangerous game in Podgorica, and it might adversely effect them for many generations to come.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Who Will Be Next?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Nimanbegu: "We do not want to serve as a decoration in government"

The practice of the ruling coalition to cooperate with one Albanian party is not a good position for Albanians in Montenegro, said Genci Nimanbegu of FORCA today.

Nimanbegu evaded direct responses to anyone inquiring if FORCA will cooperate in a coalition with other governments, and stated that the first step will be to arrange Albanian deputies in a common platform.
He said that FORCA Unity has clear political demands, conditions that must be met for the creation of any future alliance with the authorities in Montenegro.

"What we seek is a partnership because we do not want to serve as decoration in the government."
“For FORCA Unity, the priority is to decentralize power and strengthen the rule of law and the implementation of the Constitution, claims Nimanbegu.

"This is especially true in the full exercise of the Municipality of Malesia-Tuzi, and correcting the injustice imposed on the boundaries of the coastal zone in Ulcinj, and faster remedies regarding  the return of property and property rights," he said.  He added that FORCA continues to strive in strengthening the national identity of Albanians, their culture and tradition.

Nimanbegu argues that decentralization is required in the field of education, health, public administration, but also in the field of finance and taxation.

"Uniform economic development that would affect the reduction of regional disparities, increasing employment and stopping emigration, especially in the areas of Malësia, Gusi and Kraja, "he said, adding that it is in the spirit of European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

"We believe that integration into EU and NATO requires advancement in the fields of minority rights as well as to attract investment," he said.

Nimanbegu denied talks about the creation of an Albanian Party of a broader coalition; FORCA is ultimately looking for a place in minority’s ministry in the future government.

"We believe that it is necessary to show that Albanians have the potential to cover more responsible positions in the Ministry of Government and assistant minority sectors," he claimed.

He recalled that the Albanian deputies club had a meeting with Prime Minister Igor Luksic, where most of their political demands were perceived as "realistic and achievable".

He asserted that in politics, mutual trust is needed in order to have clear results, with deadlines and common goals.  “With the opposition, we can have common goals, but we also have significant differences.”  

Nimanbegu stated that the long-term goal of FORCA is to create greater unity among the Albanian parties.
The demands of Albanians in Montenegro, in his opinion, are easy to realize "if you talk the same, and speak  with one voice."

Sinishtaj: Neither the government nor the opposition deserves the support of Albanians

Montenegro needs a national unity government, said Vasel Sinishtaj of FORCA; asserting that neither the government nor the opposition so far for now deserves the support of the Albanians.

Sinishtaj exclaims that they (leading Montenegrin parties) made a mistake, and said, “whoever is ready to rectify their mistakes, I will certainly help them.”  Until then, neither side deserves my support of minorities, "he said.

Asked whether there was a formal invitation from the government to form the Coalition for European Montenegro (DPS/Djukanovic) or the opposition party, Sinishtaj maintained that no call has been made.
Commenting on the idea of ​​a government of national unity, he said that he will consider everything.

"Montenegro is, regardless of religion, ethnicity, political beliefs, only living for the moment, and maybe in a year-and-a-half, or two, it will be in a position to stabilize the government of national salvation in Montenegro; to restore public confidence in state institutions, the legal system and the further work that follows, then we can move on to new elections.  This would be a victory for democratic Montenegro ", said Sinishtaj.

Until then, the situation here remains the same. "I would love to have a government of national unity, but we will not succeed in this current structure, we need something different and I fear this political transfer ".

Sinishtaj said he was grateful to the Albanian voters who were "strong in spite of all the political pressures and remained faithful to their coalition."

"I'm glad Montenegro is moving towards something called a change in the political life and I believe this is the beginning when the next elections will be quite different.  He apologized to the international community to monitor the elections and still think they are fair and correct, in spite of negative effects, "he said.

What Sinishtaj failed to acknowledge is the lackluster performance of all the Albanian parties in general, and how they failed to unite in efforts to gain political standing and push their agenda forward.  Sinishtaj’s comments resemble those of a politician who has secured his own standing in politics and refrains from offering any anecdotes to the issues plaguing Albanians in Montenegro, especially the ever-growing divisions between his own ethnic supporters and party loyalists.

Albanians are the Real Losers in Montenegro Elections

Milo Djukanovic, the leader of the European Montenegro coalition declared victory in front of a cheering crowd of supporters gathered at the headquarters of Democratic Party of Socialists.
The European Montenegro coalition has won 45.5 per cent of the votes and 39 seats of the 81 seats in parliament, the Centre for Monitoring, CEMI, said, based on more than 90 per cent of counted ballots.
The opposition Democratic Front won 23.8 per cent of votes and 20 mandates. It was followed by the Socialist People's Party, with 10.6 per cent of votes and nine parliamentary seats. Positive Montenegro can expect seven seats.
Of the smaller parties, the Bosniak Party won three seats while the Croat Citizens' Intiative, and two Albanian parties - FORCA and Albanian Coalition - each won one.
The European Montenegro coalition is made up of the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS, and the Social Democratic Party, SDP, which together formed the last five governments, along with a new ally, the Liberal Party.
After winning 39 seats, they may have to reach out to one more ethnic minority party to obtain a majority in the 81-seat parliament.

Suljo Mustafic, of the Bosniak party, which won three seats, said it would be more realistic for his party to form a coalition with the DPS, but he did not exclude talks with other parties. "Our negotiation potential is bigger now," he said.
However, it included some important changes. Ethnic Albanians, who make up 5 per cent of the population, lost their five guaranteed seats.
Instead, all ethnic minorities that comprise up to 15 per cent of the population were given preferential treatment. Those are, primarily, the Albanian, Bosniak [Muslim] and Croat communities.
Nonetheless, the Albanian parties seemed to be the biggest losers during this round of elections.  Among the newly formed groups of coalition, the united FORCA (Genc Nimanbegu and Vasel Sinishtaj) won 1.4%, while the Albanian Coalition (Fatmir Gjekë, George Camaj and Mehmet Bardhi) won 1.1%.   Both parties were awarded one mandate each, thus sending two Albanian deputies to Parliament.  Under Montenegro’s parliamentary arrangements for minority representation, Albanians had five (5) seats reserved but could not capitalize.
The most dismal showing involved the Albanian Youth Alliance (Aleanca Rinore e Shqiptarëve) where its organizer and college student Anton Lulgjuraj failed pass the threshold by only gathering 0.1% of the vote, by far one the worst showings of any political group/party in all Montenegro on Sunday.
With Djukanovic primed to make a return to the DPS, it is believed he will announce his homecoming as Prime Minister in the coming weeks.  Media outlets have hinted that he will remain as head of state and the DP until Montenegro becomes a full member of the EU.  Djukanovic has been Montenegro’s strongman since 1990 when he and Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic ruled the SFRY.
With only two deputies in the 81 seat assembly, Albanians have lost all influence in any decision-making with the majority coalition.  It seems apparent that the European Montenegro coalition will form its government with the Bosniak party and, if needed, the Croat Citizens’ Initiative.    
With the absence of UDSH, Djukanovic’s primary Albanian support over the past two decades, the ruling party will most likely bypass any coalition attempt with the other Albanian members. 
The question surrounding Malësia’s municipality also seems to be settled with Djukanovic’s recent pledge to enact the territorial arrangement sometime in 2013.  Regardless of the date of its reinstatement, the Commune will be staged as a pilot project that was founded by the DPS, then closely monitored over the years with the distribution of a modest budget, where local Albanians had the opportunity to elect their own (local) officials that represented their best/real interests (something they squandered miserably) and that a Commune will be finally awarded to the people of Malësia BY PODGORICA and THROUGH PODGORICA, and not by the labours of the Albanians in Montenegro or the Diaspora.  This is the message that was resonated through (1) Djukanovic’s recent pre-election speech in Tuz, (2) the reorganization of Albanian political parties/coalitions, (3) the ineffective Albanian Diaspora in the United States, and ultimately (3) the outcome of Sunday’s election.  Suffice to say, the DPS will take full credit when they award Albanians their “only wish” over the past two decades: A meager Municipality ruled by DPS loyalists!  Irrespective to conventional wisdom, once this ensues, the DPS will be regarded as heroes for the Albanians, and undoubtedly seal their place as the party of choice for years to come in Malësia.
God Help Us.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Serb Parties in Montenegro Form Coalition

Several Serb parties in Montenegro have formed a 'Serbian Unity' coalition as the country heads into parliamentary elections in October.

The People's Party (Narodna Stranka), Serb List (Srpska Lista), Serbian Homeland Party (Otadzbinska srpska stranka) and Serbian Radical Party (Stranka srpskih radikala) have decided to join forces for the October 14 vote.
“At the meeting held on the premises of the People's Party, which was attended by representatives of the four parties, the decision was made to form a coalition- Serbian Unity,” Slavisa Guberinic, a spokesperson for the People's Party, confirmed for the portal Analitika.

The Democratic Serb Party, which had said previously that its condition for a joining a Serb party grouping was that its president, Ranko Kadic, be the top candidate on the coalition ballot, did not join the meeting of the parties.

Guberinic said the parties welcome all interested political entities, individuals, and NGOs who share their political beliefs to join the alliance.

“We will form a team which will work on the platform of programs for Serbian Unity as well as a coordination team for implementing technical and operational activities on the ground,” he said.

The submission of electoral lists in Montenegro began yesterday and will continue until September 19.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012


LONDON (AP) -- American volleyball player Donald Suxho has it all mapped out. Should he ever win the lottery, his plan is clear: He'll buy his parents all they want, open a savings account for his son and party around the world with friends.

As for what celebration awaits should the U.S. win a second straight Olympic gold medal, he's not saying. That's a little too close to home, also a whole lot more realistic than a lottery bonanza.
There are still games to play, and right now the 36-year-old Albanian-born father is sticking to the matter at hand. His team is already assured a spot in the quarterfinals, with Russia up next on Saturday.

The 6-foot-5 Suxho enters the match as the third best setter in the competition, averaging 11.1 sets a game over three matches. He is a key component in the Americans' pursuit of a gold medal.
"That's my job, right?" he said. "I'm a setter, so thank God I was able to set well. Our passers did a great job passing the ball to give me a chance to move around, so I thank my passers and my big guys hitting them."

The fifth-ranked Americans (3-0) upset No. 1 Brazil 3-1 on Thursday in a rematch of the Beijing final. Suxho helped captain Clay Stanley score 19 points and Reid Priddy 17.
Suxho, a two-time Olympian, has seen the U.S. team mature.

"We are a bit older, a little bit more experienced," he said. "Before this group came together in 2001 we were all young boys. We were tying to get to know the game, get better. In the U.S. we don't have a professional league, so for us it takes a little bit longer."

Suxho and his family came to the U.S. in 1996 and settled in Massachusetts, where he learned English and studied for college entrance exams. He decided he wanted to play volleyball for Southern California - a choice he calls a defining moment - and became one of the bright lights at a school with a long history of volleyball success.

In his freshman year Suxho set a then-NCAA single-match record for assists (129 against Ohio State). He finished that year with 1,585 assists, 220 digs, 93 kills and 63 blocks. In 2000, a year before he joined the U.S team, the American Volleyball Coaches Association honored him as player of the year.
After graduation, Suxho played beach volleyball professionally in Poland for a year. He then joined the U.S. national indoor team. He has an 11-year-old son, Shane, and in 2011 Suxho married Ukrainian volleyball player Eleni Gkortsaniouk.

His wife finally arrived in London in time for the match against Russia after visa problems kept her from traveling from Kiev. Also in London are Shane and Suxho's parents and brother.

"They denied her visa first but with the help of USA Olympic Committee and friends, all is good now," Suxho said in an email through a USA Volleyball spokeswoman.

Early Friday, Suxho posted on his Facebook page how happy he was to have his loved ones nearby: "family time always helps :)."

Suxho played on the 2004 Olympic team in Athens that finished fourth, losing to Russia 3-0 in the bronze-medal match. The 2008 team went to China without him.

In 2007, he partially ruptured his left Achilles tendon while playing for a team in Italy. He had surgery before returning to the U.S. for rehabilitation. He watched from afar as his teammates beat Brazil for the gold in four sets.

Former U.S. men's coach Hugh McCutcheon, who became coach of the U.S. women's team after his team won the gold in Beijing, has seen Suxho blossom.

"I'm really proud of the player and the person that Donnie's become," he said. "I think he's come a long way as a setter, just as a volleyball player. He makes good choices, and so I'm just happy for him because he's having such a great Olympic experience."

Friday, August 03, 2012

Djukanovic Won't Rule Out Run for Prime Minister

Longtime Montenegrin leader Milo Djukanovic won't rule out a possible run for prime minister, as the country readies for early parliamentary elections in October.

When asked whether he would run for the post of prime minister or president of Montenegro, Djukanovic said that at the moment he did not intend to do so but that he could not completely rule out the possibility.
“This is politics; you never know what will happen until the end,” he told reporters.
Djukanovic, who is currently the president of the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS, dominated the political scene in Montenegro for nearly two decades before stepping down as prime minister in December 2010.
He took up the post of premier in 1991, and held it alternately with the post of president for almost 20 years.
The DPS, which currently rules the country with Social Democratic Party, voted last week to cut short the mandate of the current parliament to allow for early elections, which President Filip Vujanovic called for October 14. The ruling parties argued that the government needed a stable four-year mandate in order to carry out EU accession negotiations.
The ruling coalition, which has been together for 14 years, intends to run together again in the October election and is expected to win.
It is still not clear if Montenegro's leading opposition parties will form a large coalition.
The opposition New Serbian Democracy and Movement for Change parties have said they will run as a coalition, and have formed the Democratic Front led by former diplomat Miodrag Lekic.
The Socialist People's Party of Montenegro, SNP, which is the country's largest opposition party, has not said whether it will join the Democratic Front, and is expected to make a decision on the coalition question by August 5.
Darko Pajovic of the newly formed Positive Montenegro party said earlier that his party would take part in the upcoming parliamentary elections independently.
SNP leader Srdjan Milic has said that the ruling coalition is the only political opponent of his party, adding that the SNP was open for talks with Democratic Front representatives about anything that would help remove the current government.
“If someone wants honest and fair cooperation, they can have it with the SNP. But if they want to take us down, they will have their biggest opponent,” he said.
The SNP has argued that Montenegro lacks fair and democratic conditions for elections. The party has stressed, however, that it will not boycott the elections if other opposition parties do not support a boycott.

Montenegro to Hold Elections on October 14

As the tiny Adriatic country faces tough EU accession talks, its president has called early parliamentary elections.

Filip Vujanovic, Montenegro's president, has called early parliamentary election for October 14, some six months ahead of schedule.
This comes following a vote by lawmakers last week to dissolve parliament and head to early polls after the EU opened accession talks in June.
The parliament's session was shortened at the initiative of the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, which wanted a fresh mandate for the country's EU accession talks. Montenegro started membership talks with the EU at the end of June.
The opposition, however, said the DPS is rushing to elections for fear of what lies in store for the struggling economy next year.
This will be the 9th elections since the introduction of a multiparty system in Montenegro and the third one since Montenegro's declared independence from Serbia in 2006.


Friday, June 29, 2012

The EU Opens Door for Montenegro

BRUSSELS (AP) -- European Union foreign ministers recommended on Tuesday that Montenegro open accession negotiations with the bloc later this week, opening the way for the Balkan nation to eventually join the union.

A ministerial statement said the talks can officially start on Friday. EU heads of state and government must still approve the move when they meet Thursday, but that's considered a formality.
Despite the financial crisis and structural problems shaking the European Union's foundations, Balkan states are still enthusiastic about joining the 27-nation bloc. Croatia has completed accession negotiations and is slated to become the EU's newest member in 2013.
Accession talks can drag on, and in Croatia's case they lasted seven years. But because of Montenegro's tiny size they are likely to proceed faster, officials say.
Ministers urged the nation of 625,000 people to step up the fight against corruption and organized crime.

Ministers "endorsed the EU Commission's assessment that Montenegro has achieved the necessary degree of compliance with the membership criteria ... to start accession negotiations," a statement said.

Stefan Fule, EU commissioner for enlargement, welcomed the decision.
In Podgorica, Montenegro's Prime Minister Igor Luksic praised the EU foreign ministers' decision, calling it "a victory for Montenegro, but also for the whole region'.
"The process of enlargement continues, because there is no Europe without the Western Balkans in it," he said.

Foreign Minister Milan Rocen said the EU decision will spur the nation to speed up reforms and that "it will be remembered by generations of Montenegrins."

Source:  AP

Friday, June 08, 2012

The Hypocrasy of Montenegro's Demands to Kosova

“I will neither sign the decree on the appointment of Montenegrin ambassador nor receive credentials from Kosovo's ambassadors until Montenegrins in Kosovo are recognised as a minority [in Kosovo]," Filip Vujanovic, Montenegro's head of state, said on Thursday. 

Vujanovic is conditioning an exchange of ambassadors on recognition of Montenegrins as a minority and on their authentic representation in the Kosova parliament.
On Thursday he said that Atifete Jahjaga, Kosova’s President, had pledged to meet his demands soon.
Slobodan Vujicic, chairman of the Association of Montengrins from Kosovo, said that according to the last census which Kosovo’s authorities recognize, in 1981, over 27, 000 Montenegrins lived in Kosova.
Out of 120 seats in Kosova’s parliament, 20 are guaranteed for minorities - namely the Serbian, Roma, Ashkali, Egyptian, Turkish, Gorani and Bosniak communities.
At the beginning of the year, the Kosova authorities promised that Montenegrins and Croats would obtain the same status.
The Hypocrisy of Vujanovic's demands are blatant; Montenegro has systematically denied Albanians their inherent and guaranteed rights to equal education, property, language, self-government, employment and preservation of culture, yet Podgorica is holding hostage diplomatic relations with a country that does more in respecting its minorities than any other nation in the Balkans.    
The question that needs to first be asked is, "Who are the Montenegrins in Kosova?"  A significant majority of Slavs in Kosova that refer to themselves as "Montenegrin" have been assimilated to the point where there is absolutely no cultural, social, and/or linguistic differences between them and the Serbian/Bosniak communities.  They only exist as ""Montenegrin" by name; they have only recently created this identity when Serbia and Montenegro split in 2006, and much the like Montenegrin alphabet (where two letters were added to differentiate it from the Serbian), the Montenegrin individual in Kosova is a recently re-manufactured variant of the Serb.
Atifete Jahjaga should carefully consider this request because Vujanovic is walking a thin line with the Albanians community in Montenegro, and a clear double-standard is present in these negotiations.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Montenegro Govt Paid For Ex-Minister's Italian Trial

Government paid for the 250,000-euro costed defence of former minister charged with involvement in cigarette-smuggling in Italy, newspaper reveals.
Milena Milosevic
According to the daily newspaper Vijesti on Wednesday, drawing on data obtained by the law on free access to public information, the government paid the legal fees for the trial of Miroslav Ivanisevic, finance minister from 1998 to 2004 and deputy prime minister from 2004 to 2006.
A court in Bari, Italy, accused him of being connected to crime group engaged in cigarette smuggling and money laundering.
The Italian court acquitted him in 2010, in a move seen as putting a lid on frequent claims concerning Montenegro's involvement in cigarette smuggling rackets.
The government paid for his defence “because the case was connected to activities which Ivanisevic undertook as a member of the Government and, hence, it was significant for Montenegro’s international position”, Vijesti says it was told.
Although other Montenegrins were under investigation in Italy for alleged roles in cigarette smuggling, only Ivanisevic stood trial there.
An investigation against Milo Djukanovic, Montenegro’s former prime minister and leader of the governing Democratic Party of Socialists, was dropped in 2009.
Following his acquittal, Ivanisevic sought damages from the Italian authorities related to the unfounded indictment.  
The government told Vijesti that it expects to get its 250,000 euro back, once the compensation for damages is paid.

Freedom House Criticizes Montenegro's War Trials

The Montenegrin judiciary is reluctant to objectively process war crimes and top officials are not investigated, according to a Freedom House report.

Milena Milosevic

The report on Montenegro for 2011 is part of a wider comparative study conducted on “nations in transit” and was issued on Wednesday by Freedom House, a US based NGO.
Overall, Montenegro is classified as a semi-consolidated democracy.  The report cites corruption, lack of media independence and national democratic governance as the most troubled areas.
Montenegrin judiciary also got the low grade, because there is no clear evidence that new judicial reforms are effectively implemented.
Although it notes some progress in judicial independence, the report is critical of the war crime trials in the country.
It emphasized that in every case tried in 2010 and early 2011, subordinates, not commanders, were indicted.
“Furthermore, the state prosecution office failed to investigate and prosecute the chain of command,” read the report.
Freedom House also provided a brief overview of four war crime trials that were ongoing when the report was prepared, noting that more than 20 years after some of the war crimes occurred, there is no final verdict.
In the meantime, however, the Appellate Court confirmed in April the acquittal of seven former police and Yugoslav army officers charged with inhumane treatment and torture of ethnic Bosniaks and Muslims in Bukovica, Montenegro during the Bosnian war.
The indictees were acquitted because the “inhumane treatment” was criminalized in Montenegrin law in 2003, ten years after the alleged events in Bukovica. There is no right to appeal the court's decision.
The report also considers it unlikely that that top officials will ever be charged or indicted for war crimes.  According to Freedom House, this reflects the reluctance of the Montenegrin judiciary to process war crimes cases objectively.
Freedom House is a US-based non-governmental organization, which monitors governments around the world and advocates for democracy and human rights.