Milo Djukanovic Nebojsa Medojevic - Copyright by Vikesti

Milo Djukanovic – Nebojsa Medojevic

September 2007

Montenegrin politics

Montenegro is the only Balkan state run by the same party without interruption ever since its first democratic elections in 1990: the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS). In post-communist Europe, no other party has dominated the political life of a country as much as Montenegro's DPS.

Its dominant figure has been Milo Djukanovic. He belonged to a small group of politicians put at the helm of the Montenegrin League of Communists by Slobodan Milosevic, following organised street protests in January 1989. After the first multi-party elections in 1990, Djukanovic became prime minister at the age of 29 years, making him at the time the youngest prime minister in Europe. In fact, the prime minister's post was his first ever salaried job!

He held the position until early 1998, when he became President of the Republic until 2002, when he once again returned to the prime minister's office. After winning the parliamentary elections of September 2006, he withdrew from the government, but continues to act as party leader of the DPS.

Since the last elections in 2006, four political parties have emerged as the major players in the 81-seat parliament:

  • Djukanovic's Democratic Party of Socialists which, together with the small Social-Democratic Party, narrowly won an absolute majority with 41 seats;
  • Andrija Mandic's Serb List with 12 seats. It continues to adopt a position in favour of union with Serbia;
  • The Socialist People's Party, opposed to independence, which won 11 seats. Since the election, it has sought to reposition itself first and foremost as a pro-European party.
  • The Movement for Change, a new party that emerged from a civic movement, which captured 11 seats. It focuses largely on issues of corruption and mismanagement on the part of the government.

Other, smaller parties in the parliament are the Liberals and Bosniak Party (3 seats each), and three Albanian parties at one apiece.

Recent opinion polls suggest that DPS remains the most popular political force, with support ranging from 27 percent (CEDEM [LINK TO POLL]) to 35 percent (National Democratic Institute [LINK TO POLL]). It is followed by the Movement for Changes (16-17 percent). In a more recent opinion poll by NDI (June 2007), the ruling coalition increased its support to 37 percent.

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