United by the protests, opposition has a chance to form the new government in Montenegro

The upcoming parliamentary elections in Montenegro are scheduled for October 2020 and are marked by a high degree of political controversy. The first wave of mass protests took place in February 2019 over alleged corruption within the center-left Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), which remains in power since 1991. A further wave of protests occurred in December over the adoption of the new religion law, which will lead a transfer of Serbian Orthodox Church buildings to the state of Montenegro.

The protests in Montenegro are led by an informal group of activists, intellectuals, academics, and journalists and are supported by the opposition parties. Their demands include no political cooperation with the current governing coalition of Montenegro which comprises DPS, the Bosniak Party (BS), the Croatian Civic Initiative (HGI) and the Democratic Union of Albanians (DUA). According to the latest polls, HGI and DUA are not passing the electoral threshold and are excluded from this forecast.

The political parties supporting the protests and, therefore excluding cooperation with the current government, are right-wing Democratic Front (DF), center-left Democratic Montenegro (DCG), center-left United Reform Action (URA), center-left Social Democratic Party of Montenegro (SDP) and right-wing True Montenegro (PCG). Based on these constraints and the results of the current polls we present our forecast of government formation in Montenegro.

Constraints in coalition formation

Projected seats (bar size) vs. strategic influence of political parties (red lines)

Predicted government coalitions (white line denotes the level of stability)

In all four equally stable (equally likely) projected scenarios, DF and DCG take the role of the two leading political forces in a new government in Montenegro. They enjoy an equal level of power, as both parties are crucial for securing a majority in parliament. Their potential coalition partners include 3 parties out of Albanian minority New Democratic Force-Albanian Alternative (Forca-AA), SDP, URA, and PCG.

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