Dragan Đilas

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Dragan Đilas
Dragan Đilas 2013.jpg
72nd Mayor of Belgrade
In office
19 August 2008 – 18 November 2013
Deputy Milan Krkobabić
Tatjana Pašić
Preceded by Nenad Bogdanović
Zoran Alimpić (Acting)
Branislav Belić (Acting)
Succeeded by Siniša Mali
Minister without portfolio in charge of the National Investment Plan
In office
15 May 2007 – 7 July 2008
Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Verica Kalanović
Director of the People's Office of the President
In office
11 July 2004 – 15 May 2007
President Boris Tadić
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Tatjana Pašić
Personal details
Born (1967-02-22) 22 February 1967 (age 51)
Belgrade, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia
Political party Democratic Party (2004–2016)
Spouse(s) Milica Delević (1994–2007)
Iva Pelević (2009–2013)
Children Sofija
Alma mater University of Belgrade

Dragan Đilas (Serbian Cyrillic: Драган Ђилас, pronounced [drǎɡan d͡ʑîlaːs], born 22 February 1967) is a Serbian politician and businessman who was the Mayor of Belgrade from 2008 to 2013.

From 25 November 2012[1] until 31 May 2014, he served as the President of the Demokratska Stranka (DS), the nation's main opposition party.

As a member of the Democratic Party (DS), Đilas has been the mayor of the Serbian capital city since 2008. He served as the Minister without Portfolio in charge of the National Investment Plan in the 2007-2008 Cabinet of Serbia and prior to that as the director of the People's Office of the President between 2004 and 2007.

On 18 April 2011 Đilas became the President of Basketball Federation of Serbia (KSS). He resigned in November 2016.

Early career[edit]

Đilas graduated from the University of Belgrade Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in the aerospace engineering program.

He worked as journalist at Radio Index. On 15 May 1989, part of Radio Index merged with Ritam Srca radio programme thus forming Radio B92, meaning that Đilas was one of the new station's founders. He soon became a news editor at the station.

Simultaneously, Đilas was active in opposing the rule of Slobodan Milošević, leading the student protests in 1991 and 1992. On 19 March 1991, only ten days following the violent March 9th Protest that claimed two lives and the ensuing student clashes with the police, Milošević (at that time the President of Serbia) came to the University of Belgrade in order to face the students where student leader Đilas got a chance to address him in an uncomfortable encounter recorded by the TV cameras.[2] Later, Đilas was part of an official student delegation that Milošević received. As a student leader/activist, in June 1992, Đilas appeared on RTS interview programme Razgovor s povodom thus getting 50 minutes of air time on state television, which he used to further criticize Milošević's policies. All throughout this period Đilas continuously received offers from two largest opposition parties at that time, the Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) and the Democratic Party (DS) to join their ranks, but he refused.

In the coming years, he continued to actively participate in various anti-Milošević rallies between 1996 and 2000, although by now his activism took a back seat to his budding business career in the mass media market.

Business career[edit]

Since the mid-1990s, Đilas is very active in the Serbian media market. After completion of the journalistic career has entered into marketing business as media director at the agency "Saatchi & Saatchi". He then went to Prague, and there with a few friends opened company in 1995. He began his first business in Belgrade 1998.

He has a minority stake in a limited-liability company called Multikom Group whose ownership is dividid between Đilas (25%), Dragoslav Ilić (42%), Milica Delević (25%) and Nebojša Garić (8%).[3]

The company is also active in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Montenegro.

Since 2001, Đilas co-owns (through Multikom Group) a closed joint stock company called Direct Media,[4] a media company that sells advertising space in various Serbian electronic media outlets. The company also offers ad rights in large sporting events such as the World Cup, Olympics, and World Basketball Championships.

Political career[edit]

Even though he was politically active in various forms since his early youth, Đilas officially entered politics in 2004 when he joined the Democratic Party (DS).

People's Office[edit]

On October 1, 2004 Đilas became the director of the People's Office, instituted by the newly elected President of Serbia Boris Tadić. The creation of People's Office was one of Tadić's election promises at the June 2004 presidential elections. Đilas stayed in the position until May 2007 when the new Government of Serbia was finally formed by the DS and the DSS-NS coalition almost 5 months after January 2007 parliamentary election. He became the Minister without Portfolio in charge of the National Investment Plan (NIP).

Minister without Portfolio in charge of NIP[edit]

His tenure, however, was short-lived since the government fell in February 2008 following the declaration of independence of Kosovo.

Đilas' time in office was marked by frequent vicious clashes with the government colleague Minister for Capital Investment Velimir Ilić. The two already had history[5] of public feuding when they became part of the same cabinet in May 2007. It didn't take long for their feud to reignite and in October 2007 things boiled over when Ilić placed an angry, obscenity-laced phone call to Đilas' office, the transcript of which ended up in Serbian media.[6]

Mayor of Belgrade[edit]

On 19 August 2008, Đilas was sworn in as the new Mayor of Belgrade.

During the 2008 Belgrade mayoral election campaign, Đilas was often denounced as a "tycoon" by the Liberal Democratic Party due to his amassed personal wealth. There was even a wall-spraying campaign with the phrase "Đilas Tajkun" written on various buildings around Belgrade. However, the party denied any link with the sprayed writings.

He was dismissed as mayor on 18 November 2013 and Siniša Mali was appointed as President of the Temporary Council of Belgrade.

Personal life and other endeavours[edit]

Đilas is the founder and vice president of Naša Srbija humanitarian organisation for Serbian children who were left without one or both parents in the wars in the former Yugoslavia.

He divorced in 2007. He was married to Milica Delević from 1994, who is also politically active. From fall 2003 until mid-August 2004 she headed the Office for Cooperation with the European Union under the Council of Ministers. Then from 2007 until 2008, she was the deputy to Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić. From November 2008, she is heading the Office for European Integration in the Serbian Government. They have two daughters together, Sofija and Jovana.

In September 2009, 42-year-old Đilas married the 28-year-old doctor Iva Pelević in a low-key civic ceremony. A year later they had a church wedding.[7] They have a daughter named Ana and a son named Vuk. In 2013 they divorced.[8]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Civic offices
New title Director of the People's Office of the President
Succeeded by
Tatjana Pašić
Political offices
New title Minister without portfolio
in charge of the National Investment Plan

Succeeded by
Verica Kalanović
Preceded by
Branislav Belić
Mayor of Belgrade
Succeeded by
Siniša Mali
Party political offices
Preceded by
Boris Tadić
President of the Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Bojan Pajtić
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Dragan Kapičić
President of the Basketball Federation of Serbia
Succeeded by
Predrag Danilović