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Montenegro’s democratic transition began with its political divorce from Slobodan Milosevic’s Serbia in 1997. The country gained formal independence through a peaceful referendum in 2006. Montenegro gained NATO membership in 2017 and is a candidate for European Union membership. Tied to its Euroatlantic integration, the government accused Russia of attempting a coup d'etat during 2016 parliamentary elections. Montenegro has been mainly ruled by one party for the past 20 years, and the centralization of power has occasioned problems in government-opposition relations, democratic electoral competition, rule of law, and independent media.
NDI supported Montenegrin democratic activists beginning in 1997 before establishing a presence in 1999. The Institute supported an array of democratization initiatives—political party building, legislative process strengthening and parliament’s institutional reform, and election monitoring. NDI helped the Center for Democratic Transition become a flagship, civic organization promoting government transparency. Public legislative hearings and constituency outreach have become common practice on the basis of NDI assistance. The Institute ended its in-country assistance in 2011, and continues to work on parliamentary development and political party reform through regional programs.
NDI’s program in Montenegro has been funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.
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