Montenegrin government falls over ties with Serbian Church

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PODGORICA, Montenegro — The Montenegrin governing administration fell in a no-self esteem vote early Saturday that adopted a rift about relations with the powerful Serbian Orthodox Church.

Lawmakers voted 50-1 to oust the governing administration of Key Minister Dritan Abazovic just weeks after he signed an arrangement regulating the position of the Serbian church in Montenegro.

The issue is sensitive for a lot of in the modest Balkan nation of 620,000 individuals that split from its a lot larger neighbor Serbia in 2006. The Serbian Orthodox Church enjoys the largest following in Montenegro, but the nation is divided over the church’s dominant job and the country’s ties to Serbia.

Critics have argued there was no require for a unique deal with the Serbian church individual from other religious communities. Pro-Western teams in Montenegro also have explained the arrangement as a tool for Serbia and Russia to boost their influence in Montenegro amid the war in Ukraine.

Abazovic has defended the settlement as the way to put driving the prolonged-standing church dispute around its assets and other legal rights in Montenegro, and aim on other significant difficulties.

It was not immediately clear no matter whether the tumble of the govt would lead to snap parliamentary elections or if the functions would try out to form a new govening coalition.

Political bickering in Montenegro has blocked progress toward integration into the European Union. Montenegro in 2017 defied its previous ally Russia to develop into a member of NATO.

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