Raskrinkavanje.me: Those Who Count Tend to Miscount  

Montenegrin media and political parties have quite a peculiar relationship. When they love each other, they love with passion, but when the situation changes, they swing to the opposite extreme, meticulously searching for every flaw, counting every empty seat. Quite literally. 

And when one counts, it’s easy to miscount. We saw this in the case of IN4S and the DPS (Democratic Party of Socialists). IN4S counted how many people attended the DPS party rally in Budva and triumphantly published an article, “DPS Suffers a Debacle in Budva: Empty Venue Ahead of Elections.” The article was accompanied by a photo of an empty venue – a true debacle, one might say. That is until you visit any other news portal or DPS Facebook page and see a photo of a hall bustling with people. Regardless of whether it accommodates 20, 200, or 2,000 people, it is not empty, as IN4S claims. 

The media do not just count empty seats in rally venues – they also do it in the Parliament. Truth be told, they should be counting them more frequently, given the prevalence of empty seats during discussions on important matters. However, the counters from Infomonte and Alo Online portals were not interested in that. They counted how many Democratic Party MPs “boycotted” “one of their own” – Deputy Prime Minister Momo Koprivica – when he spoke in the Parliament. 

Allegedly, everyone boycotted him except for one colleague. Judging from the photo, it might seem so. Until you visit the YouTube channel of the Parliament of Montenegro, move the slider back and forth, and see that Members of Parliament come in and out and that at least two more from the Democratic Party’s parliamentary club were listening to Koprivica. Furthermore, most MPs did not listen to other ministers during their parliamentary addresses that day. 

Empty seats and votes are counted not only in our Parliament but also in international institutions such as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. We have all heard numerous times in the last few weeks the position of DNP (Democratic People’s Party) MP Maja Vukicevic that she would vote against Kosovo’s accession to the Council of Europe, which is not a problem in itself – it is entirely within her rights to vote as she wishes. 

However, the media took to counting and miscounted, publishing that Montenegro stands against the fake state of Kosovo! Even though they did not count correctly and failed to realize that she is one of the three MPs casting their votes there and that, ultimately, it is the Government, not the MPs in the PACE, that decides on Kosovo. 

Numbers always tell the truth. It is merely a matter of proper counting. 

Darvin Muric, Editor-in-Chief of Raskrinkavanje 

This project is funded by the U.S. Embassy in Podgorica. The opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of State/Government.