Former president of Serbia and Montenegro arrested

Chairman of the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), Svetozar Marovic, who was president of Serbia and Montenegro from 2003 to 2006 was arrested yesterday on charges of corruption and abuse of power. He was detained for 72 hours at the request of the prosecutor's office. Marovic is charged with real estate fraud with total damages to the city of Budva of 1.4 million euros, fraud in the construction of the "TQ Plazza" and other deals worth tens of millions of euros. Because the case is going to the special body dealing with organized crime, the Interior Ministry has no right to give any comments.

Political intrigue

The current ruling Montenegrin politicians came to power in the wake of the breakup of Yugoslavia and criticism of Slobodan Milosevic. The Democratic Party of Socialists, until 1997, was headed by Momir Bulatovic, who was also the President of Montenegro (1990 - 1998) during the Yugoslavia period. Then the party's successor, as a result of exclusion, was replaced by the current Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic.

Experts now agree that the arrest of Marovic was specifically organized by Djukanovic to give more visibility to the fight against corruption, as required by the EU. While Djukanovic himself was directly implicated in various crimes.

Debate on Accession to NATO

In the country presently are large scale protests in opposition to the country's goal of joining NATO. Earlier, Milo Djukanovic said that no referendum on the matter was necessary and that the parliament will make the decision. Consequently, the next parliamentary elections will depend on the composition and the outcome of the vote. It is likely that the arrest of Marovic is being used for a large-scale political cleansing to prepare the necessary quorum for a vote on the accession of Montenegro to NATO.