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Montenegro: Crowds take to the streets amid debate over changes to Citizenship Law

A large group of several hundred citizens and members of the Patriotic Alliance of Montenegro (PKS) Patriotic Alliance gathered in front of the Montenegrin Government building on Thursday to protest the announced changes to the Citizenship Law. As previously announced by the PKS, these changes would grant Montenegrin citizenship to Russian and Serbian citizens to the detriment of Montenegrin citizens living abroad. “This would make Montenegrins a minority in their country,” the PKS explained.

Although the Government announced that the discussion on the amendments to the Law was removed from the agenda, the citizens did not withdraw. Citizens holding Montenegrin flags, singing patriotic songs, chanting “It is not my government” and “Betrayal”, said they would not allow the planned election engineering. A group of citizens was traveling from Niksic to Podgorica to join the protest when police blocked their way.

The President of the Patriotic Alliance of Montenegro Komitas, Tanja Knežević-Perišić, told the RTCG Portal that, after being stopped, the gathered citizens blocked the Podgorica-Nikšić highway.

“We wanted to be in front of the Government at 11 o’clock, but the police stopped us in Bogetići. We stopped, showed the confirmations on the existing form. They sought employment contracts; as a party we do not have it. “Even the biggest parties do not have it,” said Knežević-Perišić.

As she stated, the PKS will file a criminal complaint against “the minister who ordered this and against the Niksic police, because they should not restrict our movement”.

An incident erupted during the blockade, when a group of citizens stopped the official car of the Government Protocol which tried to pass through the protesters. Some of them climbed into the vehicle and fell when it started operating. The incident caused great resentment among the crowd.

It turned out that the daughter of Montenegrin Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić was riding in the vehicle.

“Today, the official vehicle carrying my daughter was attacked, otherwise a protected person. As a father, I will not forget her tears and fears. As Prime Minister, I will not allow your savagery and illegality! There will be law and order just found in the country. “You will see it soon,” he posted on Twitter.

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