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Analysts speculate on possible new Montenegrin leaders

"Igor Luksic must be regarded as a very serious player"

27. January 2010. | 07:49

Source: Dan. BBC Comtex

Deputy Prime Minister and a member of the presidency of the DPS [Democratic Party of Socialists] Igor Luksic is increasingly gaining power within the most important institutions of Montenegro compared to his main competitors for the position of new prime minister

"Deputy Prime Minister and a member of the presidency of the DPS [Democratic Party of Socialists] Igor Luksic is increasingly gaining power within the most important institutions of Montenegro compared to his main competitors for the position of new prime minister", director of the Centre for Political Education and Research Dragisa Janjusevic said yesterday.

Igor Luksic found himself in the circle of most senior state officials as a new hope of [Deputy Prime Minister and DPS deputy chairman] Svetozar Marovic. He was regarded as Marovic's protege and successor for the position of deputy chairman of the DPS. After he had been appointed to the executive branch of the government Luksic became due in time one of the most trustworthy Djukanovic's ministers and he chose to remain loyal to a DPS faction that does not support Marovic's viewpoints.

Luksic's department, the Ministry of Finance, has become recently a key factor in making some very important decisions, such as restoring the right of occupying a villa in Sveti Stefan [a seaside resort in Montenegro] to [controversial Serbian] businessman Stanko Subotic or establishing financial transactions through the Treasury. Luksic was also a member of the two delegations headed by Milo Djukanovic that have undertaken the two most significant visits in the area of foreign politics.

The trip to Brussels in the beginning of December 2009 and the visit to the USA which is taking place these days were undertaken without deputy prime minister and DPS deputy chairman Svetozar Marovic as a member of the delegation. However, on the eve of forming the last Djukanovic's cabinet companies run by people close to Marovic were unexpectedly visited by inspectors of the financial police. According to some information, these were only "routine controls" and a majority of police actions did not result in charges, but the second most important man of the DPS was formally given a notice that there were more ambitious people who believed that the Djukanovic's chair was not out of their reach.

It was then when Luksic appeared on the scene as the strongest candidate for the position of prime minister, since Djukanovic allegedly decided to withdraw but would still be supervising developments in the community as the chairman of the DPS. Encouraged by certain legal initiatives and the fact that he had support of Milo Djukanovic, Luksic entered an open conflict with Marovic regarding the allocation of the budget, because the senior colleague did not like the way the Finance Minister has planned assets for certain consumer units.

Do we even have to say that it was the minister who made the final decision, but that disagreements in the party are being cleverly concealed from the public in the accordance with "boss's" instructions?

According to Janjusevic, it seems now that Luksic is the person that primarily enjoys Djukanovic's trust when it comes to executive branch of the government.

"It is likely that the active support given to Luksic is creating conditions for him to take over the leading post in the executive branch when the moment is right. By this I mean the executive branch of the government primarily, since I do not expect to see any changes when it comes to the post of DPS chairman as Djukanovic will keep this", Janjusevic said for our daily.

He points out that the current prime minister "sees in Luksic, who possesses energy, youth, is not politically tired or tarnished, a man who is able to achieve the highest level of compromise when it comes to relations with the opposition."

"Djukanovic is trying to politically weigh pros and cons and decide who is the person that would be able to bring about a peaceful transition of the DPS from the ruling party to the opposition, since the phenomenon of Djukanovic's invincibility, which is a historical continuity, will inevitably and gradually cease to exist. It appears to me that Luksic is one of the people who could make this political transition. I also believe that the highest DPS officials have been considering this option, since, apparently, they have received too many signals from the international community about the necessity to gradually step down from power. In this situation, it is necessary to assess who could complete this project with as little turbulence as possible", Janjusevic concludes.

According to Janjusevic, Marovic should not be excluded from considerations of future distribution of power, since he has some important trump cards.

"It is possible that some circles in Washington and Brussels are considering Marovic to be a much more viable candidate for future prime minister, despite the fact that Djukanovic is supporting Luksic. We should bear in mind that Marovic has good relations with the Serbian Orthodox Church, while some most senior DPS officials think this is wrong. Since Marovic was even previously being talked about as a person who could reconcile the Serbian and the Montenegrin side into one civic bloc, the deputy prime minister must be regarded as a very serious player", Janjusevic says.


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