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.