Montenegro’s opposition (Europe Now) party has nominated its deputy leader Jakov Milatović to take over as the country’s president after its first candidate for the post, party leader Milojko Spajić, was disqualified by the Central Election Board over allegations of his dual nationality.
The Balkan News Network, which specializes in Eastern European and Eurasian affairs, reported that the “Europe Now” party, which Milatović created with Spajić, is seen as the most serious threat facing President Dukanović or any candidate nominated by his Social Democratic Party in the presidential race.
Milatovic’s candidacy came a day after the country’s election authority decided to allow the party to propose a new candidate after Spaic was excluded due to allegations that he had Serbian citizenship.
Members of the Electoral College were divided in making the decision, with several of them insisting that the decision should not be taken until after the Ministry of Interior concludes its investigation into the allegations, which began earlier in February. Three members of the commission said that Spajić’s request should be approved, while four opposed it, and three abstained.
Milatović was the figure responsible for Europe Now’s better-than-expected performance in the October 2022 local elections, when it ousted the Social Democratic Party from the capital, Podgorica. Although the party was established only six months before those elections, it quickly gained popularity and support.
Milatović, 36, reportedly graduated from the Faculty of Economics in Montenegro and then studied at Oxford University. He worked in several major European banks.