Montenegro, NATO’s newest member, is the only former communist European country that has never had a democratic transition. Even in Belarus and Russia communists have been out of power for at least one electoral cycle. But Djukanovic’s ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), which is just the renamed Montenegrin League of Communists, has been in power continuously since 1945.

To put this longevity in some perspective, Djukanovic’s DPS has been in power longer than the Bolsheviks ruled the Soviet Union, and Djukanovic himself has been in power longer than Stalin.

The president’s sister is the nation’s top lawyer, helping foreign investors join in the building boom sweeping across the coast. His brother owns First Bank, the country’s largest financial institution. His son runs the country’s biggest power plant. His nephew is involved in the country’s largest tourism projects.

However, like a good Progressive, Djukanovic is opposed to religion and, emboldened by his NATO backing, now wants to loot the Church's property. The government considers the Church hostile to the independence of the country, and generally too pro-Serbian and pro-Russian. The Church accuses the government of trying routinely to undermine it and strip the country of its Serbian heritage.

At the centre of the row is a government-adopted a draft law that includes compiling a register of all religious objects and sites formerly owned by the independent kingdom of Montenegro before it became part of the Serb-dominated Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1918.

Under the new law, religious communities must show evidence of their property rights to retain ownership of their property.
The Serbian Orthodox Church has accused the government of planning to confiscate its holdings.

In order to whip up opposition to the Church and legitimize their looting, the government has produced a TV "documentary" which attacks the the top Bishop in the country.

Attacks on independent media and critical voices have also been a hallmark of Djukanovic’s system of rule. Djukanovic once said that investigative journalists should be “exterminated like mice,” and someone in Montenegro clearly got the message. In 2004, the editor of the opposition newsmagazine Dan was assassinated. In August 2013, investigative journalist Tufik Softic was the target of a bombing attack. In December 2013, an explosive device was detonated outside the offices of Vijesti, an independent daily in Podgorica. In October 2015, Jovo Martinovic, a journalist covering Montenegro’s organized crime scene, was jailed for fifteen months on trumped-up drug-smuggling charges. In April 2018, a car bomb exploded outside the home of investigative journalist Saed Sadikovic. In May 2018, Olivera Lakic, a journalist reporting on corruption, was shot outside her apartment in Podgorica.