Montenegro elects new/old president

Montenegro elects new/old president Izvor: REUTERS/Stevo Vasiljevic

Montenegro’s former Prime Minister and head of state Milo Djukanovic has won the presidential election, his party said on Sunday night.

Djukanovic, a former six-term Prime Minister and two-term head of state, won the third presidential race since Montenegro declared independence in 2006, the party said. He ran against six other presidential hopefuls in the election.

He has been the leader of the ruling centre-left Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) since 1998, and strongly supports Montenegro's membership of NATO, which the country had joined in 2017, as well as the European Union, which it aims to join by 2022.

Djukanovic told a gathering of his supporters in the capital Podgorica that he won 54 percent of the votes cast. “Montenegro has chosen the European path,” he said, adding that he is convinced that the country will become a member of the European Union within five years.

Montenegro has a population of less than one million with about 530,000 eligible voters. Djukanovic served as Montenegro’s president between 1998 and 2002 and again from 2012 to 2016, and as the country’s prime minister six times between 1991 and 2016.

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