Montenegro: Voting In Election Billed As Russia Vs. West | RFERL

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.

… Montenegro is deeply divided between those who favor and oppose integration with the West. After seceding from Serbia in 2006, the country, which had been an ally of Russia, has taken a strong turn toward Euro-Atlantic integration.

The Democratic Front, a pro-Russian opposition group, organized huge and at times violent anti-NATO protests late last year, calling for unrest if the government joins NATO without a referendum.

Strahinja Bulajic, a leading Democratic Front official, told AFP that if his party wins the elections “we will abolish sanctions against Russia and develop the closest economic and political ties [with Moscow].”

Full Article: Montenegrins Voting In Election Billed As Russia Vs. West.

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