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.
After casting his ballot, Đjukanović said he was convinced he would win in the first round.
“I am convinced Montenegro will confirm its determination to continue on the path of European development,” he said. No significant election irregularities have been reported.
Although the presidential role is largely ceremonial, if Đjukanović wins and replaces his ally, Filip Vujanović, he is expected to wield considerable power and influence policy through the ranks of his Democratic Socialist party.