Montenegro’s President Djukanovic Eyes Likely Defeat in Run-off Vote

Europe Now candidate Jakov Milatovic casts his ballot during the first round of presidential elections in Podgorica. Photo: EPA-EFE/BORIS PEJOVIC

In Sunday's elections, incumbent President and Democratic Party of Socialists' leader Djukanovic and Europe Now movement candidate Milatovic passed to the second round due on April 2. Djukanovic won 35.2 per cent and Milatovic won 29.2 per cent.

Of the rest, ruling pro-Serb Democratic Front candidate Andrija Mandic won 19.3 per cent, ruling Democratic Montenegro candidate Aleksa Becic won 10.9 per cent, opposition Social Democratic Party candidate Draginja Vuksanovic Stankovic took 3 per cent, United Montenegro leader Goran Danilovic won 1.4 per cent and influencer Jovan Radulovic Jodzir, 0.8 per cent.

Belgrade University professor Milos Besic said Milatovic looks like the favourite to win the second round and became the first president outside the ranks of the Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS.

"There is no space in the electorate for Djukanovic to find new voters for the second round. All those who voted for other ruling majority candidates are anti-Djjukanovic and surely will vote for Milatovic," Besic told the public broadcaster. "A miracle would have to happen between the two election rounds for Djukanovic to win," he added.

On Sunday night, leaders of all three ruling majority blocs declared their support for Milatovic in the run-off, stressing that Djukanovic must be defeated. Outgoing Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic and Democratic Montenegro leader Aleksa Becic said the process of ousting the DPS from power must be continued.

"I don't think Milatovic is the best candidate but he is a candidate that the majority of Montenegro should stand behind … We have been fighting against...

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