Human Rights Action (HRA) will not sign the proposed agreement on cooperation between the Parliament and NGOs in Montenegro, which came as an initiative from the President of the Parliament Mr. Darko Pajović, because HRA considers the agreement unnecessary and inappropriate, and because HRA does not want to conclude any agreement with Mr. Pajović, who currently performs the function of the President of the Parliament.
Agreement on cooperation between the Parliament and the NGO is unnecessary, because in addition to marketing promotion it does not constitute an adequate legal basis for cooperation between the parliament and NGOs. The Rules of procedure of the Parliament of Montenegro already stipulate modalities of cooperation between the parliament and NGOs . As the offered text of the agreement does not contain anything that has not already been provided in the Rules, it is clear that the purpose of the agreement is political marketing of the President of the Parliament, which is an unworthy motive we do not want to support.
What HRA supports is the proposal to promote cooperation between the Parliament and NGOs by amendments of the Rules of procedure of Parliament, recently submitted by the Center for Development of NGOs, Center for Civic Education and Institute Alternativa.
Additionally, HRA has no confidence in sincere intentions of Mr. Pajović when it comes to human rights and support for civil society and does not want to sign any agreement with him, for two reasons. The first is that Mr. Pajović supported the violation of the Electronic Media Act during recent election of a member of the Council of the Agency for Electronic Media from the ranks of NGOs and refused to debate it at a meeting with NGO representatives on the 29th of June 2016. As Mr. Pajović did not fulfil the promise made at that meeting to inform afterwards all participants of his interpretation of the law, HRA reminded him ten days later on the promise and asked him to submit a reply, which to date he did not provided neither to us nor the public.
Also, Mr. Pajović at the session of the Assembly on the 25th of July 2016 outrageously slandered HRA and then ignored our request to apologize. He abused the position of the President of the Assembly during the debate on the law on the media, falsely accusing HRA of being a “political organization”, “protecting the interests of individual political groups” acting “solely in the interest of the concern Vijesti” and does not perform its mission properly, because “it never condemned what was done to the MPs of Positive party”. Mr. Pajović due to political interests ignored the truth that the HRA condemned the threats and insults against MPs of Positive in a statement on 1st of February 2016, as well as the fact that one of the members of the HRA working group that drafted the proposed amendments to the Media Act was Ms. Azra Jasavić, Deputy president of the Positive Montenegro.