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Montenegrin President Nominates Former Secret Police Chief as PM-designate

  • Reuters

FILE - Montenegro's Prime Minister and long-ruling Democratic Party of Socialists leader Milo Djukanovic, front, speaks in his headquarters while his deputy, Dusko Markovic, stands behind him in Podgorica, Montenegro, Oct. 17, 2016.

FILE - Montenegro's Prime Minister and long-ruling Democratic Party of Socialists leader Milo Djukanovic, front, speaks in his headquarters while his deputy, Dusko Markovic, stands behind him in Podgorica, Montenegro, Oct. 17, 2016.

Montenegro's president named a former head of the secret police as the prime minister-designate who will try to form a new government.

Dusko Markovic, 58, is also the deputy leader of the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists and one of the most trusted allies of Milo Djukanovic, the leader of the DPS.

The DPS emerged as the single strongest party in Montenegro's 81-seat parliament after an election on Oct. 16, but it lost its majority. It is now seeking an alliance with a small Social Democrat party (SDCG) and parties that represent national minorities, which would give it a majority of only two seats.

The major opposition parties rejected holding any talks with Djukanovic, whom they accused of corruption and authoritarianism during his 25 years as either president or prime minister. The DPS nominated Markovic to become premier instead.

In a statement, President Filip Vujanovic said he nominated Markovic as a candidate from the strongest party.

"Dusko Markovic should be the prime minister-designate who will be devoted to [Europea] integrations and economic prosperity," Vujanovic said.

Montenegro, a former Yugoslav republic, hopes to join both NATO and European Union.

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