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Montenegro’s longtime boss ousted

Aafter one third Over a century, the blade becomes dull.Nick name Brittwa, “razor”, due to political acumen, Milo Djukanovic eventually lost the Montenegrin presidency on April 2, when he was soundly defeated in the elections by relative newcomer Yakov Milatovic . Djukanovic got his first taste of power in 1989, when Milatovic was two years old. He became prime minister in 1991. He was the undisputed master of Montenegro until his party lost the 2020 general election.

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Back in 1989, Mr Djukanovic, 61, was a protégé of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic. He cheered two years later when Montenegrin forces, still part of the Yugoslav army, attacked the port of Dubrovnik in neighboring Croatia. He then backed holding a referendum calling for Montenegro to remain united with Serbia as the final component of Yugoslavia. But in 1997, when protests against Mr Milosevic swept Serbia, Mr Djukanovic converted to a Montenegrin nationalist. In 2006, he led his country to independence.Montenegro joined NATO 2017.

One of his successes has been keeping peace in this multi-ethnic country of 617,000 people. But he has never been able to bridge the historic divide between those who see Montenegro’s identity and future tied to Serbia and those who don’t. He has also long been dogged by allegations of cronyism (which he has always denied). When he leaves the presidency next month, he will lose his immunity from prosecution, which his enemies are likely to demand.

Milatovic, 36, an Oxford graduate and former economy minister, has the backing of pro-Serbia and pro-Russia parties, as well as many on the other side of the Gulf. “I think the vote was more against Djukanovic than for Milatovic,” said one analyst.

All eyes are on the general election in June. Mr Milatovic is a pragmatic centrist bent on fixing the economy. His new party, Europe Now!, promises to be a big success.He wants Montenegro to join European Union By 2028, this may be optimistic. He says little about Ukraine and tends to be friendlier to Serbia than Mr Djukanovic. The government has more power than the president, so the next election may be the real harbinger of Montenegro’s future.

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