Will Montenegrin president resign over protests?
More than 10,000 people marched on Saturday through Montenegro's capital, Podgorica, to call for the end of Montenegrin President Milo Đukanović's 30-year long rule.
It was the third protest in a month calling for Đukanović's resignation. The February 23 march was also aimed at state broadcaster “Radio Televizija Crne Gore”: protesters met up in front of the broadcaster's HQ building in Podgorica to make as much noise as possible on 7.30pm, the start time of the channel's main daily news program.
Montenegrins have been protesting since February 2, on the initiative of a grassroot group called “Odupri se – 97000”("Resist – 97000"), composed of more than 30 activists and citizens with no clear political affiliation. The former vice president of the Montenegrin parliament Džemal Perović is one of the group's notable figures, among intellectuals, lawyers, academics and journalists.
Their main demands are the resignations of president Đukanović, his Prime minister Duško Marković, the Supreme State Prosecutor Ivica Stanković, and the Montenegrin chief prosecutor for organized crime, Milivoje Katnić. The group has received the support of the Montenegrin political opposition.
The state broadcaster, the Odupri se - 97000 group said on Facebook, is "not a public service but party propaganda", that has "desinformed" Montenegro for 30 years.
The 10,000 people who took the streets of Podgorica on Saturday represent a significant portion of Montenegro's total population of around 610,000.
The movement has already scheduled its next protest for March 2 and is drafting requests to be presented to the government, Odupri se - 97000 has announced.