Milo Djukanovic wins Montenegro presidential election

Montenegro to elect new president on Sunday

Montenegro to elect new president on Sunday

Montenegro's former Prime Minister and former President Milo Djukanovic, the leader of the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, has claimed to have won the Sunday presidential election and pledged to ensure the country's European Union membership before the end of his five-year presidential term. The pro-European leader defied Russian Federation past year by taking the Balkan State into North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

The Center for Election Monitoring (CeMI) projected Djukanovic winning over 53 percent of the vote, which would give him an outright victory in Sunday's election.

Djukanovic's Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) declared him the victor on the evening of April 15. Party leader Milos Nikolic said at the party's headquarters: "Djukanovic is the new president of Montenegro. there will be no second round".

If the 56-year-old wins the presidency, now a ceremonial post held by his ally Filip Vujanovic, it is expected to become the real seat of power in the country of 620,000 people.

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Opinion polls indicated he was such a strong favourite that he may be able to win more than half of the votes, which would rule out a run-off planned for April 29.

Mladen Bojanic, a businessman backed by an alliance of parties, including some wanting closer ties with Russian Federation, is seen trailing Djukanovic, who has dominated politics either as prime minister or president of the Adriatic country of only 620,000 people, with 30 percent of the votes in opinion polls.

Monitoring agencies have confirmed Djukanovic's election win.

The issue of organised crime has cast a shadow on the campaign, with some 20 people killed by assassination or auto bombs over the last two years. Bojanic said Djukanovic "cannot be the solution because he is the creator of the instability and chaos that we witness in the streets of Montenegro".

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Electing Djukanovic puts into question a historically strong relationship between the small Balkan state and Russian Federation along with domestic social stability.

Because the military alliance was joined by Montenegro in December, the vote Sunday is your initial.

For Djukanovic, however, the choice between Brussels and Moscow is crucial to whether Montenegro will "remain on its road of development".

As Montenegro has joined the West in sanctioning Russia over its annexation of Crimea and recently expelled a Russian diplomat given Britain's nerve agent attack, Russia may need to rethink its strategies in the Balkans if it seeks to maintain influence.

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The EU in its 2016 progress report told the country it should continue its efforts to reduce organised crime, especially human trafficking and money laundering.

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