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Montenegro's ruling party proposes justice minister as new prime minister

Montenegro's ruling party proposes justice minister as new prime minister

Montenegro's ruling party on Wednesday proposed the justice minister as the new prime minister, after the country's powerful premier, Milo Djukanovic, rejected another term in the post.
Djukanovic, the longest serving Balkan leader, who led his tiny Adriatic nation to independence from much larger Serbia, has decided to step down, President Filip Vujanovic announced on Tuesday.
Djukanovic refused the premiership for "personal reasons," Vujanovic said.
He gave no other details, but said Djukanovic would remain at the helm of his ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, which has ruled Montenegro for over a decade, and won a sweeping victory in September elections.
The party's presidency on Wednesday put forward the candidacy of 46-year-old Zeljko Sturanovic, currently justice minister and a trusted aide of Djukanovic.
Sturanovic's candidacy needs approval by the party's main governing board and in the Montenegrin parliament. Both are considered formalities, since Djukanovic's party holds a majority of seats in the 81-member assembly.
Predrag Sekulic, the party spokesman, said that Sturanovic's candidacy received "unanimous" backing at the DPS presidency.
Sturanovic, 46, has been involved in Montenegrin politics since the early 1990s', serving both in the republic's parliament and that of the former Serbia-Montenegro union. He is one of Djukanovic's most trusted associates.
In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Djukanovic, who will turn 45 in February, said he was "a bit tired and fed up with this job."
He added that his government "finished some main jobs in the development of Montenegro, re-established its independence and stability ... and as somebody who has carried much of that responsibility," it may be time to call it quits.
Montenegro, a Balkan republic of 620,000 people, became Europe's newest country this summer, after its voters supported a split from Serbia at a May referendum.
Djukanovic became the youngest prime minister in Europe at the age of 29 in 1991. He was elected Montenegro's president in 1998, before again assuming the premier's job in 2002.


Updated : 2021-08-04 02:28 GMT+08:00