Montenegro is a mixed parliamentary and presidential republic with a multiparty political system. Voters choose both the president and the unicameral parliament through popular elections. The president nominates, and parliament approves, the prime minister. An observation mission of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe stated that the August 2020 parliamentary elections were overall transparent and efficient but highlighted that the ruling party gained an undue advantage through misuse of office and state resources and dominant media coverage, which undermined the quality of information available to voters. Milo Djukanovic, president of the Democratic Party of Socialists, was elected president in 2018 with nearly 54 percent of the vote in the first round for his second term as president. He had already served six terms as prime minister. Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Parliament, and the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly noted the election proceeded in an orderly manner but had minor irregularities that did not affect the outcome. Despite opposition protests, elections were generally considered free and fair.
The National Police Force, which includes Border Police, is responsible for maintaining internal security. It is organized under the Police Administration within the Ministry of Interior and reports to the police director and, through the director, to the minister of interior and prime minister. The Armed Forces of Montenegro are responsible for external security and consist of an army, navy, and air force that are overseen by the Ministry of Defense. Civilian authorities maintained effective control over the security forces. Members of the security forces committed some abuses.
Significant human rights issues included credible reports of: alleged torture by the government; serious problems with the independence of the judiciary; serious restrictions on free expression; serious government corruption; crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting persons with disabilities and members of national, racial, or ethnic minority groups; and crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or intersex persons.
Impunity remained a problem, and the government did little to identify, investigate, prosecute, or punish officials who committed human rights abuses.