Pro-EU Milo Djukanovic wins Montenegro presidential election

The win could see Montenegro becoming an EU member, which expers say could happen as soon as 2025

Milo Djukanovic
Milo Djukanovic

Veteran pro-European Union politician Milo Milo Đjukanović is set to win Montenegro’s presidential election on Sunday, with 53.5% of votes, according to a projection by the Centre of Monitoring and Research (CeMI) pollster.

On Sunday night, officials announced that Milo Djukanovic, who has dominated politics in the former Yugoslav republic for nearly 25 years, had secured victory.

Milos Nikolic, a spokesman for the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, said: "Milo Đjukanović is the new president of Montenegro... this is a great victory, a historic victory."

The state election commission said turnout at 7.30pm local time (17.30 GMT), half an hour before the polling stations closed, stood at 61.6%.

“This [result] is a serious indication of how final results might look, though results might deviate slightly,” said Miloš Bešić, a lecturer of political sciences at Belgrade University who monitors Montenegro’s vote.

After casting his ballot, Đjukanović said he was convinced he would win in the first round.

“I am convinced Montenegro will confirm its determination to continue on the path of European development,” he said. No significant election irregularities have been reported.

The result is likely to rattle pro-Russian groups who bitterly opposed Montenegro joining the Western military alliance in 2017.

It would also allow Đjukanović, who favours deeper European integration, to push for Montenegro to become an EU member, which experts say could happen as soon as 2025.

Đjukanović also ran against centre-left lawyer Draginja Vuksanovic, who was the country's first ever female presidential candidate in a staunchly conservative and male-dominated society.

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