Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Pro-West Djukanovic set to be Montenegro president

Pro-West Djukanovic set to be Montenegro president

Elections by monitors from Montenegro's presidential elections have revealed that ruling-party leader Milo Djukanovic has swept the vote.

Djukanovic led Montenegro to independence from much-larger Serbia in 2006 and was behind the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation bid, which Moscow strongly opposed.

The Center for Monitoring and Research said after a near-complete vote count that Djukanovic won almost 34 percent while his main opponent, Mladen Bojanic, won 33 percent. Party leader Milos Nikolic said at the party's headquarters: "Djukanovic is the new president of Montenegro... there will be no second round".

The vote, the first since Montenegro joined North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, was seen as a test for Mr Djukanovic and his bid for European integration. Opposition member Mladen Bojanic came second.

The victory of Djukanovic was celebrated at the headquarters of DPS.

After the initial projections, party officials described the vote as a "great victory, a historic victory". Djukanovic challenger will be Mladen Bojanic, backed by resistance groups, for example types that are pro-Russian.

According to Center for Democratic Transition (CDT), nearly 90.5 percent of the total votes have been counted and Djukanovic got 54.2 percent of the votes in his favor. "I am appealing to opposition voters not to view this as a defeat but as a basis for further struggle". President Filip Vujanovic, also of the ruling party, was not running due to term limits.

Djukanovic, who has previously served as president and prime minister, faced off several other candidates.

He was prime minister during a tense October 2016 parliamentary election when authorities said they thwarted a pro-Russian coup attempt created to prevent the country from joining North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

"I understand this election result as a confirmation of Montenegro's evolution to achieve European values, European standards and full membership in the European Union", Djukanovic said before opening a bottle of champagne.

During the campaign, opposition candidates accused Djukanovic of fostering cronyism, nepotism, corruption and ties with organized crime, which he denied.

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