Veteran pro-European Union politician Milo Đjukanović was set to win Montenegro’s presidential election on Sunday with 53.5% of votes, according to a projection by the Centre for Monitoring and Research (CeMI) pollster. Mladen Bojanić, a businessman backed by an alliance of parties – including some wanting closer ties with Russia – was set to come second with 34%, CeMI said, based on a partial count of the votes in a sample of polling stations. 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.Full Article: Pro-EU politician set to win Montenegro's presidential election | World news | The Guardian.
Articles about voting issues in Montenegro.
Montenegrins were casting their ballots in a presidential election widely tipped to be won by former Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic. It is the first election since the country joined the Western military alliance, NATO. Sunday’s vote is being seen as test for Djukanovic, who favors European integration over closer ties to its traditional ally, Moscow. The former prime minister and his Democratic Party of Socialists have ruled the country for nearly 30 years. Current President Filip Vujanovic is not running due to term limits. Opinion polls predict a first-round victory for Djukanovic’s Democratic Party of Socialists’. However, if the former leader fails to win the seven candidate race, a run-off vote will be held on April 29.Full Article: Polls open in Montenegro presidential election | News | DW | 15.04.2018.
Over the last two years, authorities in Montenegro have recorded a sharp rise in cyberattacks, mostly targeting state institutions and media outlets in that aspiring EU state on the Adriatic. With a presidential election looming on April 15, the recent NATO entrant and its 650,000 residents are girding for another possible wave of hacks. Montenegro and other countries in the Balkans fear meddling from Moscow to further what they believe is an expansion of Russian foreign policy. Officials in Podgorica feel their country is especially vulnerable, as the winner of the presidential vote is likely to steer Montenegro through early negotiations on EU accession, a move the Kremlin staunchly opposes.Full Article: Montenegro Seeks To Stare Down Fancy Bear As Election Looms.
Montenegro: Planned coup in Montenegro shows Russian efforts to hinder elections, Senate panel hears | McClatchy
By the time Montenegro’s police got wind of the plans, the 2016 election-day coup plot was about to launch. Disguised as police, the plotters would storm the Parliament in Podgorica, firing at citizens awaiting election results and generally creating chaos. They would declare their favored candidates the real winners of the elections, and would detain and perhaps assassinate the prime minister. If breaking up a plotted coup at the last minute wasn’t shocking enough, when Montenegrin officials investigated the plan it quickly became clear that the source of this planned chaos wasn’t even local. The plan began with Russia. At the same time in the United States, voters were hearing the first warnings about what would come to be known Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Later, the notion of possible collusion by members of the campaign of President Donald Trump would be added.Full Article: Russia election hacking has been much more intense elsewhere | McClatchy Washington Bureau.
Montenegro: U.S. says ‘credible reports’ Russia tried to interfere with Montenegro elections | Reuters
The United States said on Wednesday there are credible reports that Russia attempted to interfere in elections last October in Montenegro, which formally became a member of NATO this week. The accusation came as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met Russian officials in Moscow and as President Donald Trump prepared to meet NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House. “We are very concerned about Russian interference in the October elections in Montenegro, including credible reports of Russian support for an attempted election day attack on the government,” a senior White House official told reporters at a briefing ahead of Stoltenberg’s visit.Full Article: U.S. says 'credible reports' Russia tried to interfere with Montenegro elections | Reuters.
Montenegro’s former prime minister accused Russia of seeking to destabilize the Balkans following a thwarted attempt to overthrow Podgorica’s pro-Western government. Milo Djukanovic, who stepped down after an alleged plot emerged on election day in October aimed at preventing the small Balkan country from joining NATO, said that pro-Moscow groups “harnessed a lot of destructive material toward Montenegro” in that coup attempt. Montenegro is now “in the line” of Moscow’s attempts to expand its influence in the Balkans, and pro-Russian opposition parties are ready to use “bloodshed and a coup” to install a pro-Kremlin government, Djukanovic said on February 21 in an address to Socialist Democratic Party youth in Niksic.Full Article: Djukanovic Says Russia Trying To Destabilize Balkans | InSerbia News.
The websites of the Montenegrin government and several state institutions, as well as some pro-government media, have been targeted with increasing numbers of cyberattacks in recent days, the government in Podgorica told BIRN. “The scope and diversity of the attacks and the fact that they are being undertaken on a professional level indicates that this was a synchronised action,” the government said in a statement. Official websites and network infrastructure came under serious attack for the first time on the day of the parliamentary elections in Montenegro on October 16, amid speculation that Russian hackers had a role in it. The major new attack, which the government describes as more intense than the one in October, started on February 15 and peaked the following day, but continued over the weekend, the statement said.Full Article: Montenegro on Alert Over New Cyber Attacks :: Balkan Insight.
Montenegro: Russia plotted to overthrow Montenegro’s government by assassinating Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic last year, according to senior Whitehall sources | Sunday Telegraph
Russia plotted to assassinate the prime minister of a European nation and overthrow its government last year, according to senior Whitehall sources. An election-day coup plot to attack Montenegro’s parliament and kill the pro-Western leader was directed by Russian intelligence officers with the support and blessing of Moscow, to sabotage the country’s plan to join Nato. The plot was foiled only hours before it was due to be carried out, but would have caused heavy bloodshed and plunged the tiny country into turmoil on the eve of becoming Nato’s 29th member. The allegation came as Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, criticised Nato as a “Cold War institution” whose expansion had led to unprecedented tensions in Europe over the past thirty years. The planned Montenegro coup scheduled for October 16 last year was one of the most blatant recent examples of an increasingly aggressive campaign of interference in Western affairs, Whitehall sources told The Telegraph.Full Article: Russia plotted to overthrow Montenegro's government by assassinating Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic last year, according to senior Whitehall sources.
Montenegro’s prosecutors said Tuesday they have issued international arrest warrants for two Russian and three Serbian nationals suspected of planning an anti-government attack during October’s parliamentary election. The five are wanted for “setting up a criminal organisation and attempted terrorism,” a statement from the prosecutor’s office said. A group of Serbians was arrested on the eve of Montenegro’s October 16 polling day and accused of plotting to seize parliament.Full Article: Montenegro seeks Russians, Serbians over election attack - Yahoo7.
Russian nationalists were behind an alleged coup attempt in Montenegro that included plans to assassinate the pro-Western prime minister because of his government’s bid to join NATO, the Balkan country’s chief special prosecutor said Sunday. Milivoje Katnic said the investigation leads to the conclusion that “nationalists from Russia” organized a criminal group that planned to break into the Montenegro Parliament on election day, kill Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic and bring a pro-Russian coalition to power. Some 20 Serbian and Montenegrin citizens, including a former commander of Serbia’s special police forces, were arrested in Montenegro during the Oct. 16 vote. Fourteen of them remain in custody, including some who have fought for pro-Russia rebels in eastern Ukraine. Russian officials have denied any involvement. But they have openly supported the “patriotic” parties that are against Montenegro’s membership bid in the Western military alliance.Full Article: Montenegro Prosecutor: Russian Nationalists Behind Alleged Coup Attempt - WSJ.
Montenegro’s state election commission has declared the final results of the Oct. 16 parliamentary election despite a walkout by opposition representatives who have alleged irregularities during the vote. The commission late Saturday confirmed the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists won 36 seats in the 81-member parliament, followed by opposition Democratic Front with 18 seats and the Key Coalition with nine. The remaining seats went to smaller groups.
Montenegro’s long-serving prime minister is to step down, the governing Democratic Socialist party has said, and will be replaced by his deputy, Duško Marković. Tuesday’s announcement came hours after Milo Đukanović, who has governed as Montenegro’s prime minister or president for a total of 21 years since 1991, announced his government was investigating a possible Russian role in an alleged 16 October coup plot aimed at derailing the country’s elections. It is unclear whether there is any connection between Đukanović’s claims of a coup and his abrupt departure. Party officials were quoted as saying that he would be replaced by Marković as its candidate for prime minister if it was able to secure a majority coalition in post-election negotiations. Đukanović, whose time in office has been dogged by allegations of authoritarianism and corruption, has retired from leadership on two previous occasions, in 2006 and 2010, before returning to the helm.Full Article: Montenegro's PM quits after suggesting Russia had role in election plot | World news | The Guardian.
Serbia has detained a number of people over a suspected plot to sway the outcome of Montenegro’s Oct. 16 election, the Serbian prime minister said on Monday, citing “undeniable and material” evidence found by his country’s security services.Aleksandar Vucic’s remarks were the first detailed Serbian reaction to the arrests on election day in Montenegro of 20 Serbian citizens, including a retired police general, accused of planning attacks on government institutions and officials. The vote, in which veteran Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic’s party came out ahead but without a parliamentary majority, was billed as an opportunity for voters to endorse his pro-NATO and pro-EU stance instead of pursuing closer relationships with traditional allies like Serbia and Russia. Vucic told a news conference that the evidence found included 125,000 euros ($135,975) in cash and stashed uniforms that were to be used in attacks on Montenegrin state institutions and individuals. Supportive evidence had been given by detained suspects under questioning, he said.Full Article: Serbia unmasks plot to sway election in neighboring Montenegro: PM | Reuters.
Montenegrin authorities on Wednesday defended a decision to block popular messaging services WhatsApp and Viber during the country’s parliamentary election, saying it was prompted by citizens’ complaints and in line with EU regulations. The state Communications Agency said in a statement that its move on Sunday was designed to prevent the abuse of the services on election day. The agency said a number of users — it did not specify how many — complained of receiving unwanted election propaganda. “The users of mobile communications in Montenegro asked for protection,” the agency said. “The ban of Viber and WhatsApp application turned out to be the only option to prevent the distribution of unwanted communication.”Full Article: Montenegro defends election day ban of Viber, WhatsApp | News & Observer.
Montenegrin officials blocked popular messaging services WhatsApp and Viber during the country’s parliamentary election, a ban that drew allegations of interference from opposition politicians and concern from European election watchers Monday. “Blocking such apps is unthinkable in any normal country,” said opposition party leader Ranko Krivokapic, who previously monitored voting for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. “I have never heard of that happening anywhere ever in an election.” Authorities said they blocked Viber and WhatsApp for several hours during Sunday’s inconclusive election because “unlawful marketing” was being spread through the networks. Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic’s long-ruling party won the most votes in the contest, but without enough support to govern alone. Both the opposition and the Democratic Party of Socialists will now have to try form a governing coalition with several small groups represented in the 81-seat parliament.Full Article: WhatsApp, Viber blocked during Montenegro election day.
Montenegro’s ruling party has won the most votes in a crucial parliamentary election, according to projections, but without enough votes to govern alone. Unofficial results after 80 percent of the ballots had been counted showed that Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic’s Democratic Party of Socialists got a little more than 40 percent of the vote – more than double than that of the main opposition Democratic Front. Polls closed at 18:00 GMT, and according to Al Jazeera’s Milica Marinovic, who is reporting from the capital Podgorica, the voter turnout was over 70 percent, slightly higher than the previous parliamentary election in 2012. Sunday’s tense election was marked by the arrest of 20 Serbs accused of planning to carry out armed attacks after the closing of the polls.Full Article: Montenegro's ruling party 'leads' in crucial elections - News from Al Jazeera.
Montenegrins are heading to the polls on October 16 in a parliamentary election that is being billed as a choice between Russia and the West. The long-ruling Democratic Party of Socialists is facing pro-Russian and pro-Serbian opposition groups that strongly oppose the country’s NATO bid and path toward joining the European Union. Pro-Western Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, who has led the tiny Balkan nation as president or prime minister for more than 25 years, is facing his toughest challenge yet to cling on to power. “Everyone is aware that the fate of the state will be decided…whether Montenegro will become a member of the EU and NATO or a Russian colony,” Djukanovic said on October 14 at an election rally. Some 530,000 registered voters will be voting for 17 lists, including a total of 34 parties.Full Article: Montenegrins Voting In Election Billed As Russia Vs. West.
Russia is pouring money into Montenegro’s election campaign in an attempt to derail the country’s progress towards joining NATO, the country’s Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic said on Thursday, three days ahead of an election. Djukanovic, who has led the tiny Balkan country as president or prime minister for more than 25 years, is facing his toughest ever electoral challenge from opposition parties that accuse him of cronyism and of treating Montenegro as a personal fiefdom. In an interview with Reuters, he said opposition parties were being financed by Moscow, which saw Sunday’s parliamentary vote as a final opportunity to stop the Balkan region’s rush to integrate with the European Union and the Atlantic alliance.Full Article: Montenegro PM accuses Russia of financing anti-NATO campaign | Reuters.
Montenegro is entering the final week of its most significant electoral encounter for over a decade. The result could affect the process of NATO and EU enlargement in the Balkans. On Sunday October 16 Montenegro goes to the polls for the fourth time since it declared its independence in 2006. 18 electoral lists will compete for 81-seats in the parliament. The election campaign is deeply divided among those who favor and those who oppose European and Euro-Atlantic integration.Full Article: Montenegro heads to the polls with NATO membership at stake.
Alexander Khrgian quit Moscow for Montenegro in 2008 and immediately felt at home, setting up a law firm that helps the tiny country’s outsized Russian diaspora do business, profiting from close ties between the two countries. “We liked the climate, the people and conditions for doing business,” said the lawyer. “So we stayed.” But a parliamentary election due on October 16 could test those ties. The vote, its outcome very much in the balance, could be Montenegro’s last before joining the Western NATO alliance, an expansion dubbed “irresponsible” by Russia. Attracted by the mountainous country’s majestic coastline, some 15,000 Russians flooded into the country after its 2006 split from Serbia, bringing money and Russian influence to the former Yugoslav republic of just 650,000 people. Ushering Montenegro into NATO is a priority for the West, wary of Russian influence in a strategic region that is on the frontlines of the migration crisis facing Europe.Full Article: Montenegro in election tug-of-war between Russia and the West | Reuters.