PODGORICA, Montenegro -- Faced with a no-confidence motion, Montenegro's embattled government on Thursday called for an early election to be held in the Balkan country.
Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic filed a request that the current mandate of the Montenegrin assembly be cut short to pave the way for the vote.
The move comes a day after a junior partner in the ruling coalition submitted the no-confidence motion, saying a political deadlock has stalled European Union integration.
The group has proposed that the current Cabinet be replaced with a minority one that would not include two biggest rival groups in Montenegro.
It wasn't immediately clear how the political crisis eventually will be resolved. Krivokapic's government has been in turmoil for months, amid dwindling support.
The assembly session on the two motions is expected in early February.
The government took office after a 2020 parliamentary vote that ousted from power the long-ruling pro-Western Democratic Party of Socialists.
The new coalition that took over includes staunchly pro-Serb and pro-Russian Democratic Front party, which has since blocked some government initiatives, fueling a stalemate.
Krivokapic said on Thursday that the bid to form a minority government was “unconstitutional.” He added that “new election is the only way to resolve the biggest political crisis in Montenegro's recent history.”
Montenegro gained independence from much larger Serbia in 2006. The former DPS-led administration defied Russia to steer the country into NATO in 2017.