Dragan Đilas

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.

Dragan Đilas
Dragan Đilas 2018.jpg
72nd Mayor of Belgrade
In office
19 August 2008 – 18 November 2013
DeputyMilan Krkobabić
Tatjana Pašić
Preceded byNenad Bogdanović
Zoran Alimpić (Acting)
Branislav Belić (Acting)
Succeeded bySiniša Mali
Minister without portfolio in charge of the National Investment Plan
In office
15 May 2007 – 7 July 2008
Prime MinisterVojislav Koštunica
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byVerica Kalanović
Director of the People's Office of the President
In office
11 July 2004 – 15 May 2007
PresidentBoris Tadić
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byTatjana Pašić
Personal details
Born (1967-02-22) 22 February 1967 (age 53)
Belgrade, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia
Political partyDemocratic Party
Party of Freedom and Justice
Spouse(s)Milica Delević (1994–2007)
Iva Pelević (2009–2013)
Alma materUniversity of Belgrade

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 careerEdit

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 careerEdit

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 careerEdit

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).

Stranka slobode i pravde - SPP ( Party of Freedom and Justice )

People's OfficeEdit

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 NIPEdit

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 BelgradeEdit

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.

Alliance for Serbia (Savez za Srbiju - SzS)Edit

After Belgrade City Council elections in 2018, Đilas announced a formation of a new opposition political alliance - as a counterweight to ruling SNS. His ambition was to gather all opposition political parties and organizations, regardless of their political orientation. He partially succeeded in this, and SzS was officially formed in September 2018, gathering both center left parties like DS and center right parties like NS.[7] Since Đilas welcomed Dveri (a right wing political party) into the alliance, some liberal and left leaning organizations (notably Saša Janković's PSG) refused to take part in the alliance, though they stated they are willing to cooperate on various subjects, especially on the matter of election organization.[8][9]

Party of Freedom and Justice ( Stranka slobode i pravde - SSP )Edit

The Party of Freedom and Justice (Serbian: Странка Слободе и правде, Stranka slobode i pravde, SSP) is a centre-left political party in Serbia.

The SSP was founded in the Belgrade municipality of Stari Grad on 19 April 2019. Đilas was elected as party president, Borko Stefanović as deputy leader and vice-president, and Marinika Tepić and Dejan Bulatović as vice-presidents. The party was able to forgo the usual registration process for political parties in Serbia when Bulatović permitted his Zelena Ekološka Partija - Zeleni to be re-constituted; legally, the SSP is a successor to Bulatović's party.

Personal life and other endeavoursEdit

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.[10] They have a daughter named Ana and a son named Vuk. In 2013 they divorced.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Belgrade Mayor is new leader of opposition DS, B92, November 26, 2012 Archived September 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Đilas vs. Sloba, March 19, 1991
  3. ^ Multikom Group d.o.o.
  4. ^ Direct Media a.d.
  5. ^ Ministar kapitalni opet napada, B92, November 8, 2005
  6. ^ Velja Ilić prostački izvređao Ðilasa i sekretaricu, Blic, October 6, 2007 Archived May 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Lutovac: DSS, SDS i PSG dobrodošli u Savez za Srbiju (in Serbian)".
  8. ^ "Druga i ostale kolone (in Serbian)".
  9. ^ "Alliance for Serbia founded".
  10. ^ Dragan Đilas posle godinu dana u braku, rekao svojoj ženi “da” i u crkvi!
  11. ^ Razvodi poznatih koji su obeležili 2013. godinu

External linksEdit