18 Mar 15
Djukanovic Reshuffles his Team in Montenegro
The Montenegrin parliament approved Prime Minster Djukanovic’s reshuffled cabinet on Wednesday, although opposition parties voted against the new line-up.
Parliament on Wednesday approved the new cabinet of Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, tasked with reviving the economy and leading Montenegro closer to NATO and EU membership.
MPs from the ruling coalition voted in favour of new education, culture, health, justice and labour ministers. The opposition voted against the new cabinet.
Djukanovic told parliament that the new members of the team would soon have the opportunity to show and prove they have both “optimism and knowledge”.
He pledged that his new line-up would work to improve living standards for Montenegrins and secure dynamic economic growth.
“Such optimism is based not only on political proclamations, but on real insight into what Montenegro’s resources are,” Djukanovic told parliament before the vote.
The opposition criticized Djukanovic’s changes, claiming the new ministers had not been appointed for their knowledge and skills but for their loyalty to ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS, and Djukanovic personally.
They also criticized the current economic policies, complaining of badly managed privatizations, suspicious foreign investment and soaring public debt.
Under the changes, the current Labour Minister Predrag Boskovic becomes the new Minister of Education. Boskovic’s successor at Labour will be Zorica Kovacevic, a senior official of the DPS.
The new Health Minister will be Budimir Segrt, director of the largest private hospital in the country, Meljine. In November, the previous minister, Miodrag Radunovic, resigned amid an outcry over a deadly infection in a hospital in the north of the country.
A prominent writer, Pavle Goranovic, will be the new Culture Minster. He will take over a ministry that has been without a chief since last June when the former minister, Branislav Micunovic, became Montenegrin ambassador to Serbia.
Djukanovic has appointed a new Justice Minister, a position that for years was occupied by one of his closest associates, Dusko Markovic. Zoran Pazin is currently Montenegro’s representative at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Markovic, a former longterm head of the Montenegrin secret service, will remain the Deputy Prime Minister responsible for the political system and internal and foreign policy.
The government, formed in October 2012, consists of the DPS, the Social Democratic Party, the Liberal Party and and some smaller parties representing ethnic minorities.
Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)