Filip Vujanović

Filip Vujanović is a Montenegrin politician who, since 2003, has served as the President of Montenegro.

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Filip Vujanović (Serbian Cyrillic: Филип Вујановић, pronounced [fîlip ʋǔjanɔʋitɕ]) (born September 1, 1954 in Belgrade) is a Montenegrin politician who, since 2003, has served as the President of Montenegro. He is the first President of Montenegro since it split ties with Serbia and became an independent nation in June 2006. He claimed a landslide victory in the presidential election held on April 6, 2008.

From 21 May 2008 he is serving his second presidential term.

Early life and career

Born and raised in Belgrade, Vujanović graduated from the University of Belgrade's Law School. Between 1978 and 1981 he worked in one of the city's Municipal Courts, and later also as an assistant at the Belgrade District Court.

In 1981, aged 27, he moved to Titograd. Following a short stint as secretary at Titograd's District Court, he worked as a lawyer until entering politics in March 1993.

Career in politics

Vujanović joined the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) in 1993 upon the invitation of then Montenegrin federal President Momir Bulatović following the creation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (comprising Montenegro and Serbia) in the wake of the break-up of the previous Yugoslavia. He was a Minister of Justice in Milo Đukanović's pro-Slobodan Milošević government (1993–1996), and then Interior Minister from 1996 to 1998 after Đukanović switched loyalty and turned against Milošević. During the 1997 DPSM leadership conflict, Vujanović initially declared neutrality. He eventually sided with Milo Đukanović after Đukanović won the presidential election.

Đukanović then appointed Vujanović as the first Prime Minister of Montenegro from February 5, 1998 until January 8, 2003. On November 5, 2002, he became speaker of the Montenegrin parliament, a position which, from November 25, 2002, made him Acting President of Montenegro due to the resignation of Đukanović from the presidency to prepare to switch office with Vujanović. Vujanović ran in the December 2002 presidential elections and won a landslide victory, receiving 86% of the vote, but the election was ruled invalid because turnout was less than 50%. The elections were held again in February 2003, with Vujanović winning 81% of the vote, but again turnout was below 50%. The elections were held for a third time on May 11, 2003, with the minimum turnout rule abolished, and Vujanović won again with 63% of the vote. Vujanović resigned from his positions as speaker and acting president on 19 May 2003 but became president of Montenegro again three days later when his term began. Even though he was born and raised in Serbia, he was one of the most prominent Montenegrin secessionists. Vujanović represents a more moderate ideology unlike Milo Đukanović who advocates a more extreme outlook.

As president of Montenegro, Vujanović was a supporter of the Montenegro independence referendum, though Prime Minister Đukanović was much more high-profile in his campaign for it. Vujanović’s messages often focus on Montenegro’s and Serbia’s ability to have a peaceful separation and post-independence cooperation, and he is friends with Serbian president Boris Tadić. [1]

In April 2007, President Vujanović declared he would protect the property of the main religious institution in Montenegro, the Serbian Orthodox Church during an attempt of the non-canonical Montenegrin Orthodox Church to forcibly seize its property.

At the 2008 presidential election, Vujanović ran for the second presidential term, and secured another five years in office in the first election round, with 51.89% vote. The turnout was 68.2%.

Personal life

Since May 1985, he has been married to Svetlana, court judge, with whom he has three children: two daughters (Tatjana and Nina), and a son (Danilo). Unlike Đukanović, he refuses to have bodyguards, so he can be often seen walking the streets of Podgorica with friends or even alone, but no security[citation needed]. Media related to Filip Vujanović at Wikimedia Commons