Pro-West Djukanovic set to be Montenegro president

Hugh Fox
April 16, 2018

The people of Montenegro began voting Sunday in polls expected to see pro-Western six-time former prime minister Milo Djukanovic elected as president of the tiny Balkan nation that is aspiring to join the EU. "This is a confirmation of Montenegro's resolve to continue down the European path, to continue down the road that will lead us to EU membership", Djukanovic said in a statement issued by the Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro. He announced his comeback last month citing "responsibility for Montenegro's future".

The 56-year-old economist led Montenegro to independence from Serbia in 2016 and into North Atlantic Treaty Organisation last year - now he wants to take the predominantly Orthodox country, a part of which has strong pro-Russia sympathies, into the European Union. Current President Filip Vujanovic is not running due to term limits.

Milo Djukanovic, the presidential candidate of the ruling DPS party (Democratic Party of Socialists), speaks during the meeting with his supporters in the DPS' headquarters in Podgorica, Montenegro, April 15, 2018.

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Djukanovic also said his priority would be to guarantee employment and improve the standards of living.

With almost all the votes counted, Djukanovic won about 53 percent while his main opponent, Mladen Bojanic, won 33 percent, according to preliminary results.

Sunday's vote passed off peacefully amid fears of disorder after 20 people were arrested and accused of trying to stage a coup during legislative elections in 2016.

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"I agree with Djukanovic that the state is stronger than the mafia".

The Center for Monitoring and exploration claimed following counting over 60 percent of the volatility though his opponent Mladen Bojanic won 34 percent which Djukanovic won approximately 5-3 percent. "This is a victory for the Montenegro but also for the entire region that aspires North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and European Union integration".

The last turnout figures, one hour before the closing of the polls, was 58.5 percent, down from the 2016 elections. "Congratulation to Montenegro citizens on free and democratic presidential elections".

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