Sunday, January 09, 2011
Montenegro: Split in ruling DPS looms
Djukanovic, 48, who had ruled the country for the past twenty years, resigned on 21 December, only a few days after Montenegro was granted the status of official candidate for European Union membership.
The EU has tied Montenegro’s pre-accession talks to an intensified fight against organised crime and corruption and the judicial reform.
A few days after the resignation of Djukanovic and his deputy premier Svetozar Marovic, Montenegro police arrested ten people in Marovic’s Adriatic home town of Budva on corruption charges.
Among those arrested were Budva mayor Rajko Kuljaca and his deputy Dragan Marovic, the former vice-premier’s brother.
Djukanovic is considered Montenegro’s political 'godfather'. He is suspected of having mysteriously accumulated enormous wealth and has retained the post of DPS president. He is said to be running the country from behind the scenes, despite the appointment of a new prime minister, Igor Luksic.
Svetozar Marovic retained the post of DPS vice-president. But Podgorica daily Vijesti said Marovic was under strong pressure from his Budva group to split with the DPS (who are reformed communists) and to form his own party.
“The talks are going on daily, but Marovic still doesn’t want to say whether he wants to join that project,” Vijesti sad.
After his brother’s arrest, Marovic said that it was clear from the start that he, not his brother, was “a political target” of Budva arrests.
Djukanovic, a controversial figure, was investigated by Italian prosecutors in Bari for an alleged multi-million euro cigarette smuggling scheme, but no charges were pressed against him.
Vijesti said Marovic was about to reveal “murky business deals made by Djukanovic”. But he decided to keep silent after meeting with Djukanovic, Luksic and president Filip Vujanovic to protect his brother Dragan.
Posted by Conference Organizer at 6:35 PM