Djukanovic Set to Win Montenegro Presidency


Preliminary projections by paths from the presidential election of Montenegro have demonstrated that ruling-party pioneer Milo Djukanovic has spanned the vote, avoiding a runoff.

When supported, the result will probably present a major boost for Djukanovic, who dared Russian Federation to take his country into North Atlantic Treaty Organisation this past calendar year.

Mladen Bojanic, a businessman backed by an alliance of parties, including some wanting closer ties with Russian Federation, was set to come second with 33 percent, according to a projection by the Centre for Monitoring and Research (CeMI) pollster, based on a representative sample of polling stations.

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

"Just as we said, we have received 54% of the vote in the first round of the election and left the other six candidates behind", Djukanovic said at his election headquarters.

According to Center for Democratic Transition (CDT), nearly 90.5 percent of the total votes have been counted and Djukanovic got 54.2 percent of the votes in his favor.

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

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.

Bojanic quickly conceded saying, "Montenegro has chosen what it has chosen".

Monitoring agencies have confirmed Djukanovic's election win.

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

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". Opposition member Mladen Bojanic came second.

He now plans to gain membership to the European Union.

The former prime minister, who has also served one term as president, was able to 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.

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.

Another candidate, pro-Russian Marko Milacic, has accused Mr Djukanovic of being responsible for the "situation in the country, from bloody streets to the foreign policy and a ruined economy".