The second round of presidential elections in Montenegro is underway According to Reuters


© Reuters. A child plays with a ball in the street, the day before the second round of presidential elections in Podgorica, Montenegro, April 1, 2023. REUTERS/Marko Djurica


PODGORICA (Reuters) – The people of Montenegro went to the polls on Sunday in a second round presidential election between incumbent candidate Milo Djukanovic against a Western economist committed to pulling the nation out of a crisis described marked by votes of no confidence in the two governments.

Polling stations open at 7am (0500 GMT) and will close at 8pm (1800 GMT). The pollsters’ first unofficial results, based on a sample of voters, are expected about two hours later.

Djukanovic, 61, has dominated Montenegro as president or prime minister for 33 years, since the beginning of the fall of the now defunct Yugoslavia. He led Montenegro to independence from the state union with the much larger Serbia in 2006 and became a NATO member in 2017. The country is also a candidate to join the European Union.

Opponents have long accused the former communist and his Democratic Socialist Party (DPS) of corruption, having ties to organized crime and running the tiny Adriatic republic as their fiefdom. – allegations they deny.

Nikola Zarkovic, a student, said he hopes the vote will benefit people in a country that relies heavily on tourism revenue along its stunning coastline.

“Free and independent Montenegrin will win, as always,” he said after voting at a school inside one of Podgorica’s drab Communist-era apartment complexes.

Djukanovic’s rival is Jakov Milatovic, 37, a former economy minister and vice-president of the Europe Now movement committed to curbing corruption, improving living standards and strengthening ties with the European Union. and the former Yugoslav republic of Serbia.


“I’m looking forward to a good day… a historic day. Like most people, I want changes for the better,” said Milan Popovic, a 64-year-old teacher.

Djukanovic won 35.37% of the vote in the first round of elections on March 19, with Milatovic at 28.92%, forced to vote as neither of them won a 50% majority. Analysts had predicted a close race in the final stages.

Sunday’s vote comes after a year of political turmoil in which two governments were toppled by votes of no confidence. It was also marked by a dispute between lawmakers and Djukanovic over his refusal to appoint a new prime minister.

On March 16, Djukanovic dissolved parliament and scheduled snap elections for June 11. Although the presidency in Montenegro is largely ceremonial, winning the election would strengthen the odds. party for the winner’s party in June.

Montenegro has a legacy of bitter divisions between those who identify themselves as Montenegrin and those who consider themselves Serbs and oppose the country’s independence.

The country joined NATO after a 2016 coup attempt that the Djukanovic government blamed on Russian agents and Serbian nationalists. Moscow dismisses such claims as absurd.

After Russia invaded Ukraine last year, Montenegro joined EU sanctions against Moscow and expelled several Russian diplomats. The Kremlin has put Montenegro on its list of unfriendly countries.


Kig News: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button