Elections: Citizens of Montenegro elect new head of state
Citizens of Montenegro elect new head of state
Election of a new President amid political crisis. Milo Djukanovic, who has been in power for many years, wants to defend his position, but he has strong competition. A runoff election is considered likely.
In Montenegro the presidential election began on Sunday. Around 540,000 citizens entitled to vote are called upon to cast their vote. Pro-Western incumbent Milo Djukanovic is running for the second consecutive term. Another six men and women are running for the highest state office, including four politicians who are attributed to the pro-Serbian camp. Meaningful opinion polls are not available. The exit is considered open.
The race is expected to be decided on April 2nd in a runoff between the two first place finishers Sunday. Polling stations open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. The first results are expected on Monday night.
Parliament recently dissolved
The election is taking place in a highly polarized political climate. Djukanovic, who led Montenegro to independence in 2006 and into NATO in 2017, determined the fate of his country for more than three decades. His autocracy, often overshadowed by corruption and proximity to organized crime, came to an end when a heterogeneous coalition of more or less pro-Serbian forces sent the DPS presidential party into the opposition in the August 2020 parliamentary elections.
However, the governments that followed proved unstable. Djukanovic only dissolved parliament last Thursday because the pro-Serbian parties could not agree on a new prime minister. Parliament had withdrawn its confidence in the previous incumbent, Dritan Abazovic, last August. Djukanovic called early parliamentary elections on June 11.