Respect of the Law – Condition for Cooperation

Representatives of seven non-governmental organisations – Association of Youth with Disabilities of Montenegro (AYDM), Centre for Development of NGOs (CRNVO), Network for the affirmation of non-governmental sector (MANS), Centre for Civic Education (CCE), Center for monitoring and research (CEMI), Institute Alternative (IA), OUR INITIATIVE – today left the meeting with the president of Parliament of Montenegro, Darko Pajović, previously set up on his request. Aim of the meeting was to establish formal cooperation of this institution with civil society and to improve the communication in this respect.

Reason behind the demonstrative walkout from the session was the refusal of President of Parliament to clearly define his stand in relation to the fact that Administrative Committee proposed the candidate for a member of Council of Agency for Electronic Media contrary to legally prescribed criteria based on which the members of this Committee, hence other MPs as well, directly violated the Law on Electronic Media.

Proposed member of Council was elected last night based on the votes of (non) formal ruling coalition and part of the MPs from SDP. President of Parliament refused to declare his opinion and justified himself by stating that he was not sufficiently familiar with the specific regulation, even though he voted in favour of proposed candidate, and in spite of the fact that MP of Liberal PartyAndrija Popović requested the postponement of vote in this case by referring to controversy of proposal and unfoundedness with regard to Law.

Representatives of these non-governmental organisations clearly stated that they will not agree to simulation of cooperation between the NGO and Parliament of Montenegro, as well as to annulment of autonomy of their work.

Namely, Marina Vujačić, representative of AYDM, who was also the counter-candidate to representative of Civic Alliance, gained the support of 38 NGOs, while other candidate had the support of 18 NGOs. Contrary to the provision of Law on Electronic Media, which explicitly prescribes two criteria for the proposal of representatives of NGOs – number of support and experience in the area of human rights and freedoms – Administrative Committee chose the candidate who had less support and working experience.

Also, these organisations express their protest due to Pajović’s refusal to give the word to Marina Vujačić during the meeting after first intervention, even though the election of members of AEM marked a large part of the meeting.