Djukanovic, Milo

Djukanović, Milo

(mē`lō jo͞okän`ōvĭch), 1962–, Montenegrin political leader, president (1998–2002) and prime minister (1991–98, 2003–6, 2008–10, 2012–16) of Montenegro, grad. Univ. of Montenegro, Podgorica (1986). He joined the Communist party in 1979 and rose steadily through its ranks. Once a protegé of Slobodan MiloševićMilošević, Slobodan
, 1941–2006, Yugoslav and Serbian political leader, president of Serbia (1989–97) and of Yugoslavia (1997–2000), b. Požarevac, Serbia.
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, Djukanović became prime minister of Montenegro, then a constituent republic of YugoslaviaYugoslavia
, Serbo-Croatian Jugoslavija, former country of SE Europe, in the Balkan Peninsula. Belgrade was the capital and by far the largest city. Yugoslavs (i.e.
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, in 1991, and thereafter he dominated Montenegrin politics. Reelected three times, he at first favored the unity of Yugoslavia, but by 1997, when he narrowly won the presidency, he had broken with Milošević and supported increased sovereignty or independence for Montenegro. As president he increasingly favored the latter, but in 2002, the year he again became prime minister, he agreed to a compromise, and a looser union between Serbia and Montenegro was created. In 2006, largely through his efforts, Montenegro became independent and soon thereafter Djukanović resigned from office. He became prime minister again in 2008 when Željko Šturanović, who had succeeded him, resigned for health reasons. He led his Democratic party of Socialists (DPS) to victory in the 2009 elections, and worked toward Montenegro's membership in the European Union. Djukanović has been accused of profiting from the smuggling of cigarettes into Italy, and his resignation as prime minister in 2010, shortly after Montenegro became an official candidate for EU membership, was rumored to be the result of pressure from the EU. After the 2012 elections, he again became prime minister, this time in a DPS-led coalition government; he stepped aside after the 2016 elections failed to result in a DPS majority, though he remained DPS leader.