The Djukanovic Mafia comeback in Montenegro

Djukanovic comeback seen as key to party unity in Montenegro


After a brief semi-retirement, Milo Djukanovic is again taking up high office. He hopes to push for energy privatisation while preventing internal party rivalries from spiraling out of control.

By Nedjeljko Rudovic for Southeast European Times in Podgorica –12/02/08
Milo Djukanovic will serve as prime minister for a fifth time.

Milo Djukanovic, the charismatic Montenegrin leader who spearheaded the country’s drive for independence, is about take the reins again. With Prime Minister Zeljko Sturanovic stepping down due to health problems, Djukanovic has been tapped to succeed him.

He reportedly wants to return in order to speed up energy sector development through attracting foreign investment, and to launch construction of a north-south highway. Some also say his comeback is needed to prevent disputes within his Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS).

The DPS, which has held power in Montenegro for 17 years, includes a number of powerful figures who will not let each other prevail. The party reportedly wants to avoid internal fighting by giving the prime minister’s office — Montenegro’s most significant political post — to the man many see as an uncontested authority.

Even Djukanovic has run into obstacles, however. In October 2006, when he decided to step down as prime minister to concentrate on running a business, he wanted to promote Igor Luksic, the young minister of finance, to the job. But his choice was opposed by the influential party vice presidents, Svetozar Marovic and Filip Vujanovic, and Sturanovic was eventually chosen instead. …………..