Sunday, 22 April, 2018

Djukanovic claims to have won presidential election in Montenegro

Montenegro to elect new president on Sunday Anti-Russian Milo Djukanovic favourite to win Montenegro election
Kenny Thornton | 16 April, 2018, 05:13

Djukanovic's Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) declared him the victor on Sunday evening.

The Monitoring Center (CeMI) says that Djukanovic has secured a victory winning 53.8% of the vote, Bojanic has garnered 33.6%, Vuksanovic has 8.1% and Milacic has 2.9%. None of the remaining six candidates reached double digits.

Montenegro's former Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic on Sunday claimed victory in the presidential election, according to an NGO monitoring the polls.

"After this overwhelming and superior result you should reconsider your political position", he said in a direct message to opposition leaders.

Sunday's vote passed off peacefully amid fears of disorder after 20 people were arrested and accused of trying to stage a coup during legislative elections in 2016.

"We have accomplished an important victory for (Montenegro's) European future", Djukanovic told cheering supporters, adding he saw the triumph "as the confirmation of Montenegro's strong determination to continue on the European road".

Montenegro's State Election Commission is expected to announce the final results of the presidential election within the next few days.

Djukanovic was prime minister during a tense October 2016 parliamentary election when authorities said they thwarted a pro-Russian coup attempt created to prevent the country from joining North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Colder, wetter, and icy weather today!
I may update this blog post later today and/or early Sunday but will not be posting during the day or evening Sunday . The chilliest morning looks to be Tuesday with lower 40s otherwise nighttime temperatures will mainly be in the 50s.

The country has also been marred by organized crime, with about 20 people killed by assassinations or auto bombs over the last two years.

Mr Djukanovic is the most high-profile of the seven candidates, with posters plastered all over the capital Podgorica billing him as "leader, statesman and president of all citizens".

Businessman Mladen Bojanic was projected for second place with 34.2 percent.

"I will win today", Djukanovic predicted after voting.

The opposition says Djukanovic has ties to the mafia, an accusation he has denied.

The former prime minister, who has also served one term as president, can count on the support of the Croatian, Albanian and Bosnian minorities, which make up 15 percent of the electorate.

Low salaries and unemployment at above 20% means the debate over the West versus Russian Federation is not the main concern of many Montenegrins.

But he toned down the anti-Russian rhetoric, saying he wanted "normal relations with Russia if it is prepared to do the same". "This is a victory for the Montenegro but also for the entire region that aspires North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and European Union integration".

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