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Montenegro's premier confirms he will step down

Montenegro's premier confirms he will step down

Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, who has been in power in Montenegro for more than a decade and helped lead it to independence from Serbia, confirmed Thursday that he would step down.
Djukanovic, the longest-serving Balkan leader who survived the wars and turmoil of the 1990s, told reporters that he will remain at the helm of his ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, but also turn to business.
"I have decided to leave the state functions by my own will," Djukanovic said. "Clever people make responsible decisions about their future when they are at the height of their power and success."
Djukanovic added that he was "leaving with the sense of satisfaction because of the trust that the people of Montenegro have put in me."
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.
He was a former ally turned bitter foe of former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic and continuously remained in power for 15 years.
The outgoing premier spoke at a joint new conference with his likely successor, Zeljko Sturanovic, justice minister and one of the most trusted Djukanovic aides.
Montenegro's ruling party put forward Sturanovic's candidacy for the premiership on Wednesday, following Djukanovic's decision to withdraw.
The party confirmed the proposal at a main board session Thursday, paving the way for the formal appointment by President Filip Vujanovic and the parliamentary approval of the premier-designate.
Djukanovic praised Sturanovic, describing him as an "honest and just" man. Sturanovic promised to press on with the pro-Western reform pursued by Djukanovic.
Montenegro held elections last month, the first since it became independent from much larger Serbia in June.


Updated : 2021-08-01 10:39 GMT+08:00