Montenegro presidential poll tests backing for European Union membership

Share
Montenegro presidential poll tests backing for European Union membership

Preliminary results indicate former Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic has won more than 50 per cent of the vote, thus avoiding a run-off.

Djukanovic's Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) declared him the victor on the evening of April 15. "This is a great victory, a historic victory". Djukanovic oversaw Montenegro's application and invitation to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in 2016, to which pro-Russian Montenegrins reacted with a coup attempt before the legislative elections that year. Analysts say Djukanovic seeks a first-round triumph to cement his leadership.

Mladen Bojanic was Djukanovic's main rival, having been put forward by the leading opposition party, the Democratic Front, which prefers closer ties to Russian Federation and accuses Djukanovic of both nepotism and corruption.

Bojanic, the second ranked candidate asked his voters not to understand the result as a defeat, but as a basis for future struggle against the ruling party and refused to congratulate Djukanovic on the victory. President Filip Vujanovic of that party is not running due to term limits.

About 530,000 voters were choosing among several candidates in the Adriatic Sea nation that used to be part of Yugoslavia.

"For so many years we are awaiting changes in Montenegro and I am assuming that will happen today in a democratic way that Montenegro deserves", Radmila Cagorovic, 66, a retired schoolteacher said after casting her ballot in Podgorica.

Djukanovic has served both as prime minister and president in several mandates since becoming the youngest head of government in Europe at the age of 29 in 1991. Additionally, sceptics of Djukanovic resent him for prioritising pro-Western strategies, such as setting sights on joining the European Union, over social programme development that has left the country with a 20% unemployment rate and rising rates of organised crime.

Although Bojanic — who is predicted to garner some 35 percent of the votes — has promised to honor Montenegro's worldwide position, his victory could trigger political uncertainty.

Bojanic, an economic expert and former lawmaker, has accused the ruling party of corruption and links to organized crime following a spike in crime-related violence.

Two Russian military intelligence officers also have been tried in absentia for the failed plot that prosecutors said included plans to assassinate Djukanovic and take over power.

Share

Advertisement

Related Posts

Saudi Arabia condemns Iran amid Arab divisions over Syria strikes
The communique called for more global sanctions on Iran and urged it to withdraw "its militias" from Syria and Yemen. Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani headed Qatar's delegation at last year's Arab summit in Jordan.

Four arrested after failed armed robbery of Caroline store
A new suspect is facing potential charges in the investigation into a 2016 jewelry heist in Paris targeting Kim Kardashian West . He allegedly confessed to the crime, calling it a "very simple affair".

Eastern Ghouta completely liberates - Syrian Army
Hundreds of civilians who fled the offensive have already returned to areas beforehand retaken by the military and allied forces. The government's capture of Douma, the last town held by the rebels in eastern Ghouta, marks a major victory for Assad.

Pregnant woman dies after being hit by train in KwaZulu-Natal
Cops discovered David's bullet-riddled body after his anxious business partners reported they hadn't seen him in two weeks. Minnesota's Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose said that police believe exactly the gun has been found in each killings.

US Speaker Paul Ryan confirms retirement plans
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell , R-Ky., called Ryan a "transformational conservative leader" and "happy warrior". In announcing his retirement , Ryan claimed he accomplished most of what he set out to do in Congress .

Man City win Premier League as Man Utd lose to West Brom
He also conceded it was sweet to triumph in a country where some critics claimed his purist principles couldn't flourish. It was always a matter of when rather than if City would be champions after they led the way for most of the season.

Comey vs. Trump: Ultimate political smackdown has begun!
Trump has said he fired Comey because of his handling of the FBI's investigation into Clinton's email practices. The renewed attacks by Trump came as ABC News was set to air an interview with Comey at 10 p.m.

Sydney bushfire: State of emergency declared
NSW Police have declared the area a crime scene but the RFS says it's too early to declare if the blaze was deliberately lit. The fire continues to burn in an easterly direction towards Barden Ridge, but the threat has been reduced.

Manchester United fans rage with club Twitter account for congratulating Manchester City
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was delighted with Raheem Sterling's goalscoring performance for victory at Tottenham . The Belgian leads the league in assists but he offers far more than raw numbers.

Malaga vs Real Madrid : Zidane leaves Ronaldo, Modric, Bale out
Do Madrid have an advantage over Bayern? "There are people that are anti-Madrid and we can't change that", added Zidane . People spoke of a robbery after the penalty decision... "It's embarrassing when people talk about a robbery".

© 2015 ExpressNewsline. All Rights reserved.