Election authorities in Montenegro have named incumbent Filip Vujanovic as the winner of Sunday’s presidential election, with 51.21 percent of the vote. The opposition have cried foul, calling for an EU investigation. The election commission in Montenegro named incumbent Filip Vujanovic as the narrow winner late on Monday, after both candidates claimed victory in the presidential poll. However, the commission cautioned that these were preliminary results, still subject to change. Both sides had complained about the length of time it took to publish the results in a small country with around half a million eligible voters, only 60 percent of whom cast their ballots. Vujanovic, running for a third term in office, secured 51.2 percent of the vote, according to the official results. Vujanovic, president since 2003, represents the same Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) that control the country’s legislature. Although Montenegro’s constitution states that a president can serve only two terms, the Constitutional Court ruled prior to the vote that Vujanovic’s first term did not count because it began before Montenegro’s 2006 independence from Serbia. PDS official Caslav Vesovic said the election commission’s result “removes all doubt over who the citizens chose as president of Montenegro, and they chose Filip Vujanovic.”
Montenegro’s opposition refused on Monday to accept a third term for President Filip Vujanovic, a stance that could trigger instability in the tiny Adriatic state seeking European Union membership. Montenegrins were still awaiting the official results of Sunday’s closely fought election for the largely ceremonial post that both sides said they had won. Both Vujanovic and his opposition challenger, former diplomat Miodrag Lekic, claimed victory. The state electoral commission has until 8 a.m. (0600 GMT) on Tuesday to announce the official result. The dispute looked set to usher in an unstable period for the ex-Yugoslav republic of 680,000 people, which last year embarked on the long process of membership talks with the EU.
Both sides claimed victory in a presidential election in Montenegro on Sunday, raising the prospect of a dispute over the largely ceremonial post in the tiny Adriatic country as it bids to join the European Union. With no independent exit poll or official word from the state electoral commission, both incumbent Filip Vujanovic and opposition challenger Miodrag Lekic took to the airwaves to announce they had won. Lekic compared his rival’s claim to a “coup d’etat”. The president is largely a figurehead for Montenegro’s 680,000 people, with real power vested in the prime minister. But a Lekic victory would set up an awkward cohabitation and deal a significant blow to the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) after more than two decades in power.