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Iran Press TV

Montenegro's PM accuses pro-Russia opposition of assassination attempt

Iran Press TV

Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:9AM

Montenegro's outgoing Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic has accused a pro-Russia opposition alliance of being responsible for an alleged assassination attempt against him during the Balkan county's parliamentary elections less than a month ago.

The long serving 54-year-old Djukanovic said on Wednesday that the pro-Russia Democratic Front was "part of the plot" to seize parliament and the premier and later "execute" him on October 16, the day of the vote.

"I see this activity as participation in preparation of my murder," Djukanovic added.

Although the pro-Russia opposition bloc, composed of at least 10 parties, heavily criticizes Djukanovic's Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro (DPS) for its attempts to join the European Union (EU) and the NATO, it has repeatedly denied accusations that it sought to stage a coup last month.

According to Montenegro's Chief Special Prosecutor Milivoje Katnic, plotters, an alleged organized criminal group of at least 50 people from Montenegro, Serbia and "nationalists from Russia," had plans to break into the parliament, assassinate the premier, cause violence and bring a pro-Russia coalition government to power.

"The plan was to stop Montenegro on its Euro-Atlantic path, especially to prevent it from entering NATO," Katnic told reporters last Sunday.

On the eve of the election, security forces nabbed some 20 Serbian and Montenegrin citizens, 14 of whom remained in custody, including some who had allegedly fought for pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine.

Katnic said, however, that prosecutors "don't have any evidence" proving that Russia was involved "in any sense."

Moscow also strongly rejected accusations that it had a role in the alleged coup against the Montenegrin government.

Kremlin "categorically denies the possibility of official involvement in any attempts to commit any unlawful activities," Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a press conference on Monday.

He said Moscow had to date not received any official inquiries from Podgorica regarding the alleged coup.

Djukanovic has been Montenegro's latest prime minister since 2012, but he had also served in that position three more times: From 1991 to 1998, from 2003 to 2006, and from 2008 to 2010. Djukanovic has also served as the president of Montenegro from 1998 to 2002.

In the October parliamentary elections, Djukanovic's party topped but failed to achieve the overall majority.

The prime minister has recently announced his resignation, and President Filip Vujanovic on Wednesday designated deputy PM Dusko Markovic to take over soon.

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