Preliminary results indicate that leader of the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) Milo Djukanovic has won 53.9 percent of the vote, thus securing the victory in the first round of presidential election in Montenegro.
Djukanovic, who has already served as the Prime Minister of Montenegro six times and as the President once (from 1998 to 2002), declared the victory immediately after the national television published the unofficial election results.
“This is confirmation of Montenegro’s decision to continue on its European path that will lead us to full EU membership (…) I am convinced we are not going to fail the expectations of citizens and that we are going to take that final step in the next five years”, Djukanovic told supporters at his party’s headquarters on Sunday evening.
Representatives of the Center for Monitoring and Research (CeMI) reported that Mladen Bojanic, an independent and allegedly pro-Russian candidate supported by the majority of opposition parties in Montenegro, came in second with 33.4 percent of the votes, while Draginja Vuksanovic from SDP won 8.3 percent.
The turnout was 64 percent.
CeMI and another monitoring group, the Center for Democratic Transition (CDT), reported numerous irregularities: voting was temporarily suspended at dozens of polling stations because devices used to electronically identify voters had not been working, and ballot papers were found bearing identical serial numbers.
Media reminded that the powers of Montenegro’s president are more ceremonial than executive, but noted that the post might become the real seat of power if 56-year-old Djukanovic is confirmed as the winner of Sunday’s election.