Friday, July 22, 2011
Tensions build up in Montenegro's ruling party
Podgorica - Years of internal strife within the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), which has ruled Montenegro for the past two decades, may finally be exploding into the public eye, a Podgorica newspaper reported Monday.
The newspaper, Vijesti, quoted sources from the government and the DPS as saying that the party's deputy leader and one of the most powerful politicians in the country, Svetozar Marovic, had offered his resignation.
In a letter to the party leadership, Marovic reportedly said that he was ready to step down after he found out that the Montenegrin secret police had been spying on his son, Milos.
Following that, he allegedly threatened to open a full-scale conflict within the party, dominated by longtime former Montenegrin prime minister, Milo Djukanovic.
According to Vijesti, government and DPS sources confirmed that Marovic, a deputy premier until last year, had sent the letter, but refused to make statements about it.
On an inquiry by the Serbian news agency Tanjug, however, Marovic denied that he had written the letter.
Marovic was a key player in the DPS' turn away from Slobodan Milosevic's regime in Belgrade in the latter half of the 1990s and Montenegro's drive for independence from Serbia, completed in 2006.
The DPS was then torn between a wing led by Djukanovic and the former Montenegrin president Momir Bulatovic, who remained faithful to Milosevic. Djukanovic triumphed with Marovic's help.
In December Djukanovic and Marovic resigned from the government, but have continued to seek influence behind the scenes.
Both men were implicated in massive corruption - Djukanovic was investigated in Italy in connection with cigarette smuggling and Marovic was named in scandals related to army procurement while he was president of the rump Yugoslavia.
Igor Luksic, a close ally of Djukanovic, took over as prime minister, with the declared primary goal of securing a date for the start of accession negotiations with the European Union.
Posted by Conference Organizer at 1:22 PM