Igor Luksic

Prime Minister of Montenegro

(AP, Reuters, Bloomberg, BBC, RFE/RL, Government of Montenegro 29/12/10; Official Website of the Prime Minister of Montenegro)

Igor Luksic[Getty Images]

Igor Luksic became the prime minister of Montenegro on December 29th 2010, replacing Milo Djukanovic who resigned eight days earlier after leading the Balkan country for more than two decades.

Born on June 14th 1976 in the Adriatic coastal town of Bar, Luksic graduated from the Faculty of Economics in Podgorica in 1998, where he also obtained his Master's and PhD degrees in 2002 and 2005, respectively.

From June 1998 to February 2000, he worked at the Montenegrin foreign ministry, and then at Djukanovic's ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) as international relations adviser until January 2001.

Luksic became a member of the Montenegrin legislature following the April 2001 early parliamentary elections. He remained an MP through 2009.

In March 2003, he was appointed deputy foreign minister in the government of the loose state union of Serbia and Montenegro. He held that post until February 2004, when he was first appointed finance minister of Montenegro.

A close ally of Djukanovic, Luksic then held the Montenegro's finance ministry portfolio for three terms. He also served two terms as deputy prime minister until Djukanovic named him as his successor upon stepping down on December 21st 2010.

The DPS leader, who steered his country to its independence from Serbia in June 2006, resigned as prime minister just four days after Montenegro won recognition as an official EU candidate.

Parliament approved Luksic as the country's new prime minister in a 46 to 25 vote, with two abstentions on December 29th 2010.

In a key note speech at the legislature, Luksic pledged continuity with his predecessor's policies. He also vowed to fight corruption and focus on the implementation of the required reforms for Montenegro to open accession talks with the EU, as well as to follow a policy of good neighbourly relations and regional co-operation with other countries in the Balkans.

"All of us, the government, parliament, local authorities and the society must demonstrate determination and readiness to use knowledge and capabilities ... toward full European integration," Luksic said.

The Montenegrin prime minister, who published a book of poetry and prose, titled "Book of Laughter" in 2001, is fluent in English and has a fair knowledge of French and Italian. He is also an active blogger.

Luksic is married and has two daughters.

Members of the Maryland National Guard train with soldiers from Bosnia and Herzegovina. [Defense.gov]
French President Francois Hollande (right), with Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic in Paris on December 10th, s
Hydropower plants, such as this one in Vrutok, Macedonia, are a way for Balkan states to secure energy independence. [To
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