The Government whose members violate the Constitution can not advocate for the rule of law

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) filed yesterday an initiative to the Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Đukanović to dismiss six ministers who are violating the Constitution of Montetenegro, pursuant to Article 105 of the Constitution that is granting a right to the Prime Minister to propose to the Parliament of Montenegro dismissal of the members of Government who have violated Article 104 of the Constitution on incompatibility of the office.

With that initiative, the CCE pointed to the fact that some members of the Government permanently violate the Article 104 of the Constitution of Montenegro, which refers to the incompatibility of office: “The Prime Minister and members of the Government shall not perform duties of a members of Parliament or other public duties, or professionally perform some other activity.”

Thus, the Minister of Science Sanja Vlahović, in addition to performing her ministerial function, has status of a lecturer at the Mediterranean University in Bar and Singidunum University in Belgrade, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Petar Ivanović in addition to work at the Ministry receives additional compensations as a lecturer at the University of Donja Gorica, which is the same case as with the Minister of Economy Vladimir Kavarić, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Igor Lukšić. The Minister of Finance Radoje Žugić in addition to his ministerial compensation receives compensation as a lecturer at the Faculty of Mediterranean Business Studies in Tivat, and by the insight in the website of Maritime Studies Faculty in Bar he is also listed as a lecturer (although he has not reported any compensation on this basis to the Commission for the Prevention of Conflict of Interest), while the Minister of Defence Milica Pejanović Đurišić in addition to her ministerial salary receives a financial compensation from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Podgorica. The Minister of Culture Branislav Mićunović, resigning, has followed example of his aforementioned colleagues, so, besides his ministerial compensation, he has been receiving compensation as a professor at the Faculty of Drama Arts of the University of Montenegro.

In accordance with the abovementioned, the CCE requested from Đukanović to conduct a dismissal procedure of all members of the Government who have harshly violated the constitutional norms that regulate the incompatibility of office, and for which indisputable evidence was enclosed. If it has been thought on time regarding the respect of the Constitution, the members of the Government could have been offered a deadline for removal of the unconstitutionality in terms of parallel performance of the duties and professional performance of other activities. Since consequences that have occurred have caused serious social harm to the public interest, the appointed members of the Government should be dismissed, states in the Initiative.

CCE assess that the fact that members of the Government without any sanctions deliberately violate the Constitution is making ridiculous the Constitution itself, as the highest legal act. At the symbolic level, it strongly denies Governmental rethorical dedication for establishment of rule of law. If the members of the Government can violate Constitution, that it sends clear message to the public that in Montenegro the Constitution and the law are not binding for all, i.e that there are citizens of first and second class, which is surely not a good base for the democratisation of the society.

Nikola Djonović, Programme Coordinator