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Current Montenegrin president Đukanović should be in the run-off

Current Montenegrin president Đukanović should be in the run-off

In the first round of Montenegro’s presidential election, pro-Western Milo Djukanovic won the most votes with a good 35 percent, but he has to go through a run-off. His opponent on April 2 will be economist Yakov Milatovic. He got nearly 29 percent of the vote.

After three decades of power change?

President Djukanovic led Montenegro to independence in 2006 and into NATO in 2017, and has shaped his country’s fortunes for more than three decades.

“There is a significant lead over the candidate I will compete against in the second round. This is not only a reason for complacency and optimism, but also a clear recognition of a group of voters that was not activated in the first round,” Dukanovic said after the result was announced.

Good opportunities for the “Europe Now!” candidate.

The new party “Europe Now!” By opponent Milatović is modern, reform-oriented and close to the Serbian Orthodox Church, which is directed from Belgrade.

“This is a collective victory for those who have been discriminated against over the past 30 years, whose children left Montenegro, who did not experience justice, who were poor. It is a common victory for a beautiful, better, fairer and more equal Montenegro.”

The April 2 runoff will decide whether Djokanovic survives on the political front. Milatović, born in 1986, is said to have good prospects. Milatović was Minister of Economy in the short-lived pro-Serbian government (December 2020 to April 2022).

Polarized political climate in Montenegro

In Sunday’s election, five more candidates came forward for the vote of about 540,000 eligible voters. The head of the pro-Serbian and pro-Russian Democratic Front, Andrija Mandic, was in third place with 19 percent.

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The elections took place in a highly polarized political climate. Djukanovic, who led Montenegro to independence in 2006 and joined NATO in 2017, has defined his country’s fate for more than three decades. His rule ended when a loose coalition of somewhat pro-Serbian forces sent the presidential DPS party into opposition in the August 2020 general elections.