March 23, 2023

IN Montenegro Sunday, March 19, is the election of a new president. About 540,000 voters have the right to participate in the voting. Pro-Western incumbent head of state Milo Djukanovic is seeking re-election for a second consecutive term. Six more candidates compete with him, among which four are representatives of the pro-Serbian camp.

According to the results of the polls, the outcome of the vote is unclear. The winner, most likely, will be determined only by the results of the second round of elections on April 2. The first preliminary results of today’s voting are expected on the night of March 20.

Allegations of corruption and ties to the mafia

Elections in Montenegro are held in conditions of strong political polarization. Djukanovic, which led Montenegro to independence in 2006, and to NATO in 2017, has been determining the fate of this Balkan republic for more than three decades. His one-man rule, often marred by accusations of corruption and ties to organized crime ended in August 2020 when a motley coalition of pro-Serb forces forced the presidential Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) into opposition.

The subsequent governments, however, proved to be unstable. Only on March 16, Djukanovic dissolved parliament Montenegro, since the pro-Serbian parties could not agree on a candidate for the post of prime minister of the country. Djukanovic has scheduled early parliamentary elections for June 11.

See also:

Gang fights in Montenegro

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