Montenegro Voting for New President
Albanian Daily News
Published April 16, 2018
Preliminary projections by independent monitors in Montenegro's presidential election have shown that ruling-party leader Milo Djukanovic has swept the vote, avoiding a runoff. The Center for Monitoring and Research said Sunday after counting over 60 percent of the votes that Djukanovic won about 53 percent while his main opponent Mladen Bojanic won 34 percent.
If confirmed, the result will present a major boost for Djukanovic, who defied Russia to take his country into NATO last year. Montenegrins were casting their ballots in a presidential election widely tipped to be won by former PM Djukanovic. It is the first election since the country joined the Western military alliance, NATO, says Deutsche Welle.
Sunday's vote is being seen as test for Djukanovic, who favors European integration over closer ties to its traditional ally, Moscow. The former prime minister and his Democratic Party of Socialists have ruled the country for nearly 30 years. Current President Filip Vujanovic is not running due to term limits.
Opinion polls predicted a first-round victory for Djukanovic's Democratic Party of Socialists'.
Montenegro's presidency is a ceremonial post, but is expected to become the real seat of power in the country if 56-year-old Djukanovic wins the vote.
The ballot is the first election in Montenegro since Djukanovic's party ignored calls from Russia and joined NATO in December last year. Montenegro is also expected to be one of the favorites to join the European Union next. Djukanovic is the best-known candidate in the race, with his campaign slogan declaring him a "leader, statesman and president of all citizens."