Opposition MPs from Albania, Montenegro and Serbia continue parliamentary boycotts

Opposition MPs from Albania, Montenegro and Serbia say they will not return to their respective parliaments and will maintain protest boycotts against alleged abuses of their political systems, despite an appeal from European Commission spokesperson Maja Kocijancic.

A group of opposition MPs called the Alliance of Serbia decided this month they will not participate in parliamentary sessions or sessions held by assemblies at other levels of government across the country.

The Alliance of Serbia justified the decision by listing alleged abuses of the various assemblies by the ruling Serbian Progressive Party, led by President Aleksandar Vucic.

Serbian MPs accuse the ruling party of turning the microphone down whenever an opposition lawmaker is about to speak and of obstructing debate in parliament by filing hundreds of meaningless amendments to bills that serve to prevent proper discussion.

In Albania, some MPs blamed the EU for not speaking out against “corruption and crime” in Albania.

According to some, Western media have published judicial evidence of government’s cooperation with criminal organisations to rig the 2017 elections, but  the European Commission remains silen.

Protests in Tirana, Podgorica and Belgrade each have their own characteristics and can not be compared.

In Montenegro, the majority of opposition MPs stopped attending parliamentary sessions after general elections in October 2016, alleging poll violations and demanding a fresh vote.

In June 2018, the main Montenegrin opposition party, the Democratic Front, returned to parliament, but some smaller parties have continued the boycott.