Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro
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Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro
Democratic Party of Socialists

Demokratska partija socijalista
PresidentMilo ?ukanovi?[1]
DeputyDu?ko Markovi?
FoundersMomir Bulatovi?
Milo ?ukanovi?
Svetozar Marovi?
Founded22 June 1991
Preceded byLeague of Communists
Youth wingYouth Association of the Democratic Party of Socialists
Political positionCentre[7] to centre-left[8]
European affiliationParty of European Socialists (associate)
International affiliationSocialist International[9]
Progressive Alliance[10]
Colours     Red      Blue      Orange
Local Parliaments
Party flag
Flag of the Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro
Website Edit this at Wikidata

The Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro (Montenegrin: Demokratska partija socijalista Crne Gore / ? ? ?, DPS) is the ruling political party in Montenegro. It has been so since the introduction of a multi-party system in 1990.

The party was formed in 1991 as the successor of the League of Communists of Montenegro, which had governed Montenegro within the Yugoslav federation since World War II. Since its formation and the introduction of a multi-party system, the DPS has played a dominant role in Montenegrin politics, forming the backbone of every coalition government to date.

At the 2012 legislative elections held on 14 October, the DPS along with the Social Democratic Party of Montenegro (SDP) as the Coalition for a European Montenegro won 39 out of 81 seats. This coalition, along with its longtime partner the Bosniak Party, once again formed a majority in the Parliament of Montenegro and held the right to appoint the Government. The DPS itself won 31 seats. The current Prime Minister of Montenegro Du?ko Markovi? and President Milo ?ukanovi? are both members of the party.

The DPS is internationally affiliated with the Socialist International and Progressive Alliance, and is an associate affiliate of the Party of European Socialists.


The party evolved from the League of Communists of Montenegro as reformist force after Yugoslavia's dissolution. In the 1990s, party was based on democratic socialism, social democracy and Serbian-Montenegrin unionism. In the 2000s party switched policy towards a common state with Serbia and would become the main proponent of the independence of Montenegro in 2006. Today's party is characterized by populist[2]big tent politics with a slight centre-left[8] lean, alongside elements of nationalism, a pro-western stance towards European integration,[6] and some Third Way economics.



The history of the DPS begins with the political turmoil in Yugoslavia in the late 1980s. After Slobodan Milo?evi? seized power in the League of Communists of Serbia, he went on to organize rallies that eventually ousted the leaderships of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia local branches in Vojvodina, Kosovo and Montenegro. This series of events, collectively known as the Anti-bureaucratic revolution, swept into power new party leadership in Montenegro, one allied with Milo?evi?, personified in Momir Bulatovi?, Milo ?ukanovi? and Svetozar Marovi?.

The League of Communists of Montenegro, under this new leadership, won by a landslide in the first relatively free multi-party election in Socialist Montenegro, held in December 1990, taking 83 out of 125 seats in the Montenegrin parliament. The party had a significant head start in the elections, as it had the entire established party structure at its disposal, while newly formed competition had to start from scratch. The party changed its name to the Democratic Party of Socialists on 22 June 1991.

With Bulatovi? as the president, the DPS closely aligned Montenegro with Serbia and the policies of Slobodan Milo?evi?. The party was firmly in power during the turbulent early 1990s, which saw the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the beginning of the Yugoslav Wars. During these years, the party endorsed a union and close relations with Serbia (its sole partner in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1992). The party maintained the support of the electorate in this difficult period for Montenegro, winning both the 1992 and 1996 elections.

1997 split between Bulatovi? and ?ukanovi?

On July 11, 1997, the party's national committee ("Glavni odbor", abbreviated as "GO") held a closed doors session after which the committee selected Milica Pejanovi?-?uri?i? to replace Bulatovi? as the party president.[11] The party split had enormous implications, making a political confrontation between ?ukanovi? and Bulatovi? inevitable. This manifested in the 1997 Montenegrin presidential election held in October, which ?ukanovi? won by a thin margin.

Bulatovi? went on to form the Socialist People's Party of Montenegro (SNP) out of his defeated DPS faction, whose platform held a unionist position on the question of Yugoslavia and its short-lived successor state, Serbia and Montenegro. Meanwhile, ?ukanovi? became a fierce opponent of Milo?evi?. As a result of ?ukanovi?'s relationship with the United States, Montenegro received significant amounts of economic aid during this period, and negotiated limitations on NATO bombings of its territory in 1999, whereas the rest of Yugoslavia was subject to significantly heavier attacks. The DPS government gradually severed ties with Serbia by taking control over customs and the economy, introducing first the German mark, and subsequently the Euro as legal tender, and generally reducing the influence of the federal government in Montenegro.

Montenegrin independence

Following the overthrow of Slobodan Milo?evi? on 5 October 2000, the DPS showed signs of greater support for Montenegrin independence. The campaign for the 2002 parliamentary elections was devoted to the question of Montenegro's independence. However EU mediated negotiations between the DPS and the newly elected democratic government in Serbia in 2003 imposed a three-year waiting period before an independence referendum could be held. The transitional period saw the transformation of the FR Yugoslavia to a loose union called Serbia and Montenegro. During the existence of the union state, the party congress added the goal of a "democratic, internationally-recognized, independent Montenegro" to its official platform.[12] The party then spearheaded the pro-independence campaign ahead of Montenegro's referendum in 2006. With 55.5% of voters opting for independence, Montenegro became an independent state on 3 June 2006.

Post-referendum era

In 2006 at the first parliamentary elections in independent Montenegro, as well as the subsequent elections in 2009 and 2012, the DPS confirmed its position as the strongest political party in Montenegro. The party has formed the basis of all parliamentary majorities and has been the backbone of all Government cabinets since independence, usually with its now traditional ally the Social Democratic Party of Montenegro (SDP) and ethnic minority parties.

Party vice president Filip Vujanovi? is incumbent President of Montenegro, currently serving his third term, having won presidential elections in 2003, 2008 and 2013.

Milo ?ukanovi? remains the party president and its undisputed authority, serving either as Prime Minister or President of Montenegro from 1991 to 2006, 2008 to 2010 and 2012 to 2016. In 2006, the party leadership chose ?eljko ?turanovi?, former Minister of Justice, to succeed ?ukanovi? as Prime Minister, until his resignation on 31 January 2008 for health reasons, whereupon ?ukanovi? replaced him, only to resign again in December 2010 while retaining his role as DPS party leader.[1] After winning the 2012 parliamentary elections, ?ukanovi? once again assumed the position of Prime Minister.

Presidents of Democratic Party of Socialists

# President Age Term start Term end
1 Momir Bulatovi? Momir Bulatovi? (cropped).jpg 1956–2019 22 June 1991 19 October 1997
2 Milica Pejanovi? photo essay 120907-D-NI589-113 (cropped).jpg b. 1959 19 October 1997 31 October 1998
3 Milo ?ukanovi? Milo ?ukanovi?.jpg b. 1962 31 October 1998 Incumbent

Parliamentary elections

Parliament of Montenegro
Year Popular vote % of popular vote Overall seats won Seat change Alliance Government Leader
1990 171,316 56.18%
Steady -- Majority Momir Bulatovi?
1992 126,083 42.66%
Decrease 37 -- Majority Momir Bulatovi?
1996 150,237 49.92%
Decrease 1 -- Majority Momir Bulatovi?
1998 170,080 48.87%
Decrease 13 ECG Coalition Milo ?ukanovi?
2001 153,946 42.04%
Decrease 2 ECG Coalition Milo ?ukanovi?
2002 167,166 48.0%
Increase 1 ECG Coalition Milo ?ukanovi?
2006 164,737 48.62%
Increase 1 ECG Coalition Milo ?ukanovi?
2009 168,290 51.94%
Increase 3 ECG Coalition Milo ?ukanovi?
2012 165,380 45.60%
Decrease 3 ECG Coalition Milo ?ukanovi?
2016 158,490 41.41%
Increase 3 -- Coalition Milo ?ukanovi?

Federal elections

Chamber of Citizens of the Federal Assembly of Yugoslavia
Year Popular vote % of popular vote Seats Montenegrin seats ± Government Carrier
1992 160,040 68.6%
Increase 23 Coalition Milo? Radulovi?
1993 130,431 47.3%
Decrease 6 Coalition Radoje Konti?
1996 146,221 50.8%
Increase 3 Coalition Radoje Konti?
2000 Election boycott
Decrease 20 Election boycott

Presidential elections

President of Montenegro
Election year Candidate # 1st round votes % of votes # 2nd round votes % of votes
1990 Momir Bulatovi? 1st 170,092 42.22% 1st 203,616 76.1
1992 Momir Bulatovi? 1st 123,183 42.8% 1st 158,722 63.4
1997 Milo ?ukanovi? 2nd 145,348 46.71% 1st 174,745 50.79
2003 Filip Vujanovi? 1st 139,574 64.2% N/A -- --
2008 Filip Vujanovi? 1st 171,118 51.89% N/A -- --
2013 Filip Vujanovi? 1st 161,940 51.21% N/A -- --
2018 Milo ?ukanovi? 1st 180,274 53.90% N/A -- --

Local Parliaments

Positions held

Major positions held by Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro members:

See also


  1. ^ a b The end of an era, possibly (accessed 24 December 2010)
  2. ^ a b c Dzankic, Jelena (2017). "State-sponsored Populism and the Rise of Populist Governance - The Case of Montenegro" (PDF). Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ Berglund, Sten (2013). The Handbook of Political Change in Eastern Europe. Springer. p. 568.
  4. ^ Vujovi?, Zlatko (2015). Electoral and Party System in Montenegro - A Perspective of Internal Party Democracy Development. Center for Monitoring and Research. p. 162.
  5. ^ Polackova, Zuzana (2017). "Independence lost and regained: Montenegro's contested identity and the failure of Yugoslavia (1918-2006)" (PDF). Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2016). "Montenegro". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ Strmiska, Maxmilián (2000). "The Making of Party Pluralism in Montenegro". Masaryk University. Retrieved .
  8. ^ a b "Montenegro elects new/old president". 2018-04-16. Retrieved .
  9. ^ "Full list of member parties and organisations". Socialist International. Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ "Parties & Organisations". Progressive Alliance. Retrieved 2019.
  11. ^ "Kako su se "razveli" Milo i Momir: Dve decenije od sednice na kojoj se pocepao DPS". Nedeljnik (in Serbian). July 11, 2017. Retrieved 2019.
  12. ^ Samir Kajo?evi? (January 22, 2015). "DPS na kongresu mijenja program". Vijesti (in Serbian). Retrieved 2019.


Morrison, Kenneth (2009). Nationalism, Identity and Statehood in Post-Yugoslav Montenegro. London: I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd. ISBN 978-1-84511-710-8.

External links

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