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Montenegro: Djukanovic claims presidential victory

Montenegro: Djukanovic claims presidential victory

Djukanovic, who has previously served as president and prime minister, faced off several other candidates. He announced his comeback bid last month.

Monitoring agencies have confirmed Djukanovic's election win.

The likely victor is Milo Djukanovic, who has led the government as prime minister six times since 1991 and was president from 1998-2002.

According to head of the Center for Democratic Transition Milica Kovacevic, Djukanovic has garnered 54.2% of the vote, while Mladen Bojanic is second with 33.3%, the only female candidate Draginja Vuksanovic is third (8.1%) and leader of the Real Montenegro party Marko Milacic is fourth (2.7%).

Mladen Bojanic was Djukanovic's main rival, having been put forward by the leading opposition party, the Democratic Front, which prefers closer ties to Russian Federation and accuses Djukanovic of both nepotism and corruption.

The opposition says Djukanovic has ties to the mafia, an accusation he has denied.

The issue of organised crime cast a shadow on the campaign, with some 20 people killed by assassination or vehicle bombs over the last two years.

Because the military alliance was joined by Montenegro in December, the vote Sunday is your initial.

Montenegro and NATO
Montenegro: Djukanovic claims presidential victory

"I agree with Djukanovic that the state is stronger than the mafia".

Djukanovic has claimed the opposition want to turn the country into a "Russian province" and threaten Montenegro's multicultural way of life.

His presidential candidacy is supported by the DPS's ruling coalition partner Social Democrats, as well as Bosniak, Croat and Albanian minorities. The average salary in Montenegro sits at around €500 ($615) and unemployment is more than 20 percent.

For Djukanovic, however, the choice between Brussels and Moscow is crucial to whether Montenegro will "remain on its road of development".

All candidate countries are strongly encouraged to align their foreign policy with the European Union, including regarding Russian Federation.

A total of 532,599 people are eligible to vote.

The last turnout figures, one hour before the closing of the polls, was 58.5 percent, down from the 2016 elections.