Pro-West Djukanovic set to be Montenegro president

Pro-West Djukanovic set to be Montenegro president

According to the preliminary results of the State Electoral Commission based on 54.8 percent of counted votes, Djukanovic won 55.57 votes at the presidential elections.

If confirmed, the result is an approbation for his move previous year to defy Moscow and take Montenegro into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

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%.

Elections by monitors from Montenegro's presidential elections have revealed that ruling-party leader Milo Djukanovic has swept the vote.

"Milo Djukanovic is the new president of Montenegro", said Milos Nikolic, of the DPS.

Djukanovic is set to replace incumbent President Filip Vujanovic, whose mandate expires in May.

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.

Mr Bojanic said Mr 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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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.

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

Bojanic quickly conceded saying, "Montenegro has chosen what it has chosen". "But the problem is that I do not know which side he is on", he added. "I see this result as a proof of Montenegro's determination to move forward along the European path".

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

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.

All candidate countries are strongly encouraged to align their foreign policy with the European Union, including regarding Russian Federation.

Montenegro's presidency is a ceremonial post, but is expected to become the real seat of power in the country if 56-year-old Djukanovic is confirmed as the victor.

While Sunday's presidential election was less tense, CEMI and another monitoring group, CDT, reported numerous irregularities at dozens of polling stations.

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