The prime minister of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović, has resigned. He claims that he is doing so independently of any external pressure, but he has been named in an Italian criminal trial regarding cigarette smuggling. On 17 December Montenegro gained the status of Official Candidate Country for EU membership and there has been speculation that Đukanović’s departure was part of the deal that facilitated this status. Đukanović has denied any such link.
Balkan Insight is reporting that Đukanović is going to remain as the leader of the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS). The party currently has 33 seats in the 76-seat parliament and is part of an electoral coalition that has 47 seats in total. The government is a four-party coalition with the DPS as the largest party.
Đukanović has suggested that the Finance Minister, Igor Lukšić, should be the new prime minister. The DPS has to approve the proposal, but the president, Filip Vujanović, officially nominates the prime minister.