Djukanovic Runs for Eighth Term in Montenegro

Milo Djukanovic, who has dominated politics in Montenegro as president and prime minister for almost three decades, is running for another presidential term as voters cast their ballots in Sunday's election.

A former Communist and pro-Yugoslav leader, the 56-year-old Djukanovic was nominated by the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, which has been in power since 1991, and other small pro-Montenegrin parties.

According to pre-election polls, Djukanovic, who is also supported by minority Bosniak and Albanian parties, is expected to win the most votes, but the main issue is whether he will get enough to secure victory in the first round.

According to the electoral law, candidates have to secure more than 50 per cent of the votes to avoid a run-off.

Around 530,000 citizens of Montenegro have the right to vote. The polls opened at 7am local time and the first results are expected soon after the polls close at 8pm.

Djukanovic, who temporarily retired from politics in 2016, ended his presidential campaign by addressing supporters in the capital Podgorica on Thursday, when he said his victory would be the best choice for Montenegrins.

"Everything we did, and what we want to complete with membership of the EU, was for better living standards for our citizens," he said.

Djukanovic is being challenged at the polls by businessman Mladen Bojanic, a former MP and civil rights activist who has secured the support of most of the normally divided opposition parties.

He is known as a critic of Montenegro's bid to join NATO and demanded a referendum on the issue before the country became part of the Western military alliance in June 2017.

This made Bojanic acceptable for the main opposition alliance, the Democratic Front,...

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