Djukanovich’s would be putsch: cloak and dagger fiction gone pulp


The recent parliamentary election in Montenegro has been a testimony to the most obvious thing: Djukanovic and Co. have already crossed the line of permissiveness and are used to playing with loaded dice in the power race. Observers found a record number of violations: massive fraud, carousel voting, pre-marked ballots, vote buying and cemetery votes.

However, the real apogee turned out to be a sensational incident, namely “a coup warded off just in time” plotted personally by Djukanovic.

It’s an open secret that Montenegrin law enforcement agencies should detained as many as 20 conspirators on the night of election. The plotters allegedly were to have seized the building the Parliament of Montenegro housed, blocked the Special Forces barracks, triggered out civil unrest followed by shooting, and finally overthrown the power. The group of plotters was headed by Bratislav Dikic, the former Serbian Gendarmery Commander who was unofficially reported to be in touch with Djukanovic.

Meanwhile, a Belgrade newspaper “Blic”, quoting its own information sources, said it was Montenegrin authorities themselves that had supposedly engaged Dikic to perform the part of the “terrorist”. The newspaper even gave publicity to the fee promised, i.e. €100,000. Besides, Dikic was arrested at a hotel in Podgoriza where he had been staying for quite some time with no cover whatsoever.  No weapons were found, however his lawyer claimed later that “the policemen had planted a key to an arms cache” on the alleged putsch organizer.

A statement made by Serbian Prime-minister Alexander Vucic doesn’t hold water either. Referring to the public procurator’s office of Montenegro, he insisted that a total of 60 rather than 20 putsch participants had planned to neutralize a Special Forces unit and arrest leaders of Montenegro. Milivoje Katnic, the country’s special prosecutor, afforded irrefutable, from his point of view, evidence of the coup d’etat to come. The matter concerns some pictures of passageways full of weapons and ammunition of all sorts. Strange as it may be the evidence appears to be rather weak since one can surely find all the things mentioned at any Special Forces armament depot.

Additionally, Vucic stated that Montenegrin police had spotted a group of people spying upon the country’s leader, Milo Djukanovic, apart from it they might have had considerable financial resources and special equipment.

According to the Prime-minister, the information collected was passed to a third party. Unfortunately, Vucic was not able to name either the party or the spies’ nationality.

There is a key protagonist in this detective story. The man’s name is Alexander Sindzhelich, he is a Serb and chief witness.

If what the Montenegrin public procurator’s office said is true, it was Sindzhelich is the person who both recruited participants of the “failed coup” and secured weapons for them. Being a crucial figure in the plot, he has turned himself in to the police and now is in close cooperation with the prosecution. While the other participants are behind bars, Sindzhelich is out on his own recognizance. Such an attitude to the alleged criminal brings into question the whole “failed coup” which seems to be Djukanivic’s well-planned initiative.

Milo Djukanivic must have had several goals in mind while performing this political deceit. First of all, in the case of an election failure he might have had all the grounds to put the country under the state of emergency and declare the election results invalid. Secondly, the high-ranking politicians’ statements on the election day could have considerably influenced the opposition electorate preventing people from voting. Finally, the staged coup could have been used for framing up Djukanovic’s and his party’s opponents.

At the end of the day, the political performance put up by Djukanovic only goes to show how terribly difficult it is for Djukanivic and his team-mates to stay in power. The failed coup card was played too incompetently and unconvincingly to be taken seriously by political rivals of the Democratic Party of Socialists.