Montenegro: Political Party Building and Civic Development. Quarterly Reports, 2001.Report as inadecuate

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Many observers thought that Slobodan Milosevic's fall from power would defuse the political crisis between Serbia and Montenegro (both countries comprise the Republic of Yugoslavia). Instead, Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic sharpened his stance on Montenegrin independence despite Belgrade's desire to maintain the federation. The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) remains committed to supporting democratic reforms in Montenegro as it addresses the continued need for internal political liberalization as well as economic and democratic reforms, either as part of Yugoslavia or as an independent country. The long-term goal of NDI's Montenegro program is to strengthen Montenegro's emerging democratic political system through increased organizational capacity, improved public outreach by political parties, and the initiation of direct participation in the political process by nongovernmental organizations as a means to promote civil society and broad-based citizen participation in political affairs. The specific objectives of NDI's program in 2001 were: (1) political parties begin to implement democratic forms of internal debate and decision-making; (2) the parties increase their direct contact with voters and solicit feedback from the grassroots on party positions; (3) party municipal branches and other functional units become more active in the party life; (4) political parties improve the work of their caucuses inside parliament and more effectively integrate the caucus into general party activities; and (5) existing nonpartisan advocacy organizations become effective watchdog institutions and advocates for an accountable and transparent parliament and government. The quarterly reports state that NDI accomplished the following in 2001: (1) assisted the Center for Democratic Transition with drafting a Code of Conduct for political parties during an election campaign and helped the group prepare for campaign and election-day monitoring; (2) trained the Social Democratic Party to improve its media outreach and direct voter contact; (3) organized a first-ever, multiparty conference for elected members of parliament; and (4) organized the first-ever, multiparty conference for women political party activists and another conference for leaders of women's NGOs. The final quarterly report contains a "Parliamentary Guide." (BT)

Descriptors: Citizen Participation, Citizenship Education, Democracy, Elections, Foreign Countries, Nongovernmental Organizations, Objectives, Political Parties, Program Descriptions

Author: National Democratic Inst. for International Affairs, Washington, DC.; Learning and Skills Development Agency, London England.


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