Montenegro elects a new president



In Montenegro, citizens elected a new president. Incumbent pro-Western incumbent Milo Djukanovic ran for a second consecutive term. After his party was defeated in parliamentary elections more than two years ago, he is fighting for his political survival. Six other men and women competed for the highest office in the state, including four politicians affiliated with the pro-Serb camp.

The race is expected to be decided on April 2 in a run-off between the pole winners on Sunday. According to election research institute Cemi, 35.5 percent of the roughly 540,000 eligible citizens have cast their ballots by 1 p.m. That was 2.7 percentage points more than at the same time in the last presidential election five years ago. Meaningful opinion polls were not available. The exit is open. Polling stations were scheduled to close at 8 p.m. The first results were expected on Monday evening.

The exit is still open

The elections are taking place in a highly polarized political climate. Djukanovic, who gained independence in Montenegro in 2006 and in 2017 NATO He led, determining the fortunes of his country for more than three decades. His authoritarian rule, often overshadowed by corruption and proximity to organized crime, ended when a loose coalition of somewhat pro-Serb forces sent the presidential DPS into opposition in the August 2020 parliamentary elections.

However, the governments that followed proved unstable. Djukanovic dissolved parliament last Thursday only because the pro-Serbian parties could not agree on a new prime minister. Parliament had withdrawn its confidence in the former president, Dritan Abazović, last August. Djukanovic called snap parliamentary elections for 11 June.

The president has more protocol powers

Although the president has only protocol powers, the election is crucial. As evidenced by the dissolution of parliament by Djukanovic, the head of state can, to a certain extent, oversee the functioning of democratic institutions.

Supporters of Montenegrin independence and Western engagement therefore see Djukanovic as a last bulwark against the encroachment of the winners of the August 2020 elections into Serbia. critics say.

The pro-Serb camp is unified

Djukanovic, who is expected to move to a run-off, could finally take advantage of the fact that the pro-Serbian camp was not united. The incumbent’s chances are good if Andrija Mandic, the head of the pro-Serbian, pro-Russian Democratic Front, succeeds in entering the run-off.

On the other hand, it will be difficult for the incumbent to face Yakov Milatović from the new party “Europe Now!” In the second round. We Will Meet The 37-year-old economist with close ties to the Serbian Orthodox Church, which Belgrade controls, presents himself as modern, moderate and reform-oriented.

note: This report is part of an automated service provided by the German Press Agency (dpa), which operates under strict journalistic rules. It is not edited or vetted by AZ Online Editors. Questions and hints please


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