Milo Djukanovic is the ruling party’s candidate as prime minister-designate, Svetozar Marovic, a party official, said on Friday, making his return to high office all but certain.Montenegro’s long-time leader and chairman of the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS, which has held power since the early the Nineties, is slated to return to frontline politics as head of the new government.
This follows the victory of the DPS-led European Montenegro coalition in the October general election, when it won 39 of the 81 parliamentary seats.
On Tuesday, it obtained the support of ethnic minority Bosniak, Croat and Albanian MPs and so obtained an absolute majority in parliament.
This will be Djukanovic’s sixth term as prime minister. He served three consecutive terms from 1991 to 1998. He was President of Montenegro from 1998 to 2002 and Prime Minister again from 2003 to 2006, when he quit frontline politics.
He returned as Prime Minister in February 2008, remaining until December 21, 2010, when he stepped down again.
Since his resignation in 2010, he has continued to exercise significant political influence as head of the ruling party.
In an interview with Al Jazeera Balkans earlier this year, he said he would continue to practice politics primarily through chairing the DPS while devoting more time to business.
In a campaign ahead of the October vote, however, he took a central role, which prompted speculation about his likely return to high office.
Djukanovic himself recently stated that his prominent role in the October election campaign had “opened a door” to his potential return to government.
The decision fiollows consultations about the prime minister-designate between Filip Vujanovic, Montenegro’s President, and the representatives of all parliamentary parties.
On behalf of Djukanovic, two DPS officials, Branimir Gvozdenovic and Svetozar Marovic, met Vujanovic on Friday.