Europe

Montenegro's long-ruling prime minister to step down

In this photo taken Monday, Oct. 17, 2016, Montenegro's Prime Minister and long-ruling Democratic Party of Socialists leader Milo Djukanovic, speaks at his headquarters, in Podgorica, Montenegro.  Djukanovic said Tuesday Oct. 25, 2016,  "there exists a strong connection of a foreign factor" and suggested that Russia was involved in the Oct. 16 election vote that included the arrest of 20 people from Serbia suspected of planning violence after parliamentary election results were announced. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

In this photo taken Monday, Oct. 17, 2016, Montenegro's Prime Minister and long-ruling Democratic Party of Socialists leader Milo Djukanovic, speaks at his headquarters, in Podgorica, Montenegro. Djukanovic said Tuesday Oct. 25, 2016, "there exists a strong connection of a foreign factor" and suggested that Russia was involved in the Oct. 16 election vote that included the arrest of 20 people from Serbia suspected of planning violence after parliamentary election results were announced. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)  (The Associated Press)

Montenegro's prime minister, Milo Djukanovic, is to step down after ruling unchallenged for more than 25 years.

Djukanovic's Democratic Party of Socialists has named his deputy, Dusko Markovic, as a possible premier-designate.

Djukanovic, who led the tiny Adriatic nation to independence from Serbia in 2006, has resigned twice in the past, but returned as either prime minister or president.

Djukanovic was 29 when he became the youngest prime minister in Europe in 1991. He was elected Montenegro president in 1998, before again assuming the premier's job in 2002. He is the longest serving Balkan leader.

The DPS won most seats in the Oct. 16 parliamentary election, but will need to seek a coalition to remain in power.

The ruling party did not give a reason for his stepping-down.