Veteran Montenegrin politician Milo Djukanovic to run for president in 2018

Veteran Montenegrin politician Milo Djukanovic to run for president in 2018
By bne IntelliNews December 10, 2017

Montenegro’s ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) will most likely propose its veteran leader, former president and prime minister Milo Djukanovic, to run for president in the 2018 elections, broadcaster RTCG reported on December 8.

If he decides to compete in the presidential election, it is quite unlikely that another candidate would defeat him. During two and a half decades at the top of Montenegrin politics, Djukanovic beat all his competitors and his party seems to have enough support despite strong opposition.

Following the October 2016 general election, Djukanovic stepped down, and Dusko Markovic, also from the DPS, took over as prime minister. At the time, there were rumours that Djukanovic had given up trying to form a government in order to run for president – a position he previously held between 1998 and 2002.

The veteran politician did not confirm the rumours at the time, but has now been quoted by local media as saying he would run for the post if the country needs him.

“The position of DPS is clear at all levels – the candidate for president should be only Milo Djukanovic as only he could secure a victory in the first round of the election,” RTCG quoted unnamed sources from the DPS leadership as telling local daily Pobjeda.

Djukanovic, who has served as either prime minister or president for most of the last 25 years, has announced twice before that he would step down and retire from politics – in 2006 and 2010. Both times he had two-year breaks, but returned to politics. He formally retired in October 2016 as well, but remained the DPS's leader.

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