Montenegro votes in presidential election

PODGORICA (Montenegro), March 19 — Montenegrins began voting currently in a presidential election that will influence the final result of a parliamentary vote in June as properly as the compact Adriatic country’s stance towards the West and its ties with neighbouring Serbia.

Polling stations in Montenegro, which is a Nato member and a prospect to be a part of the European Union, opened at 7 a.m. (2pm in Malaysian time currently) and will shut at 8 p.m. Initially unofficial benefits by pollsters, dependent on a sample of the electorate, are expected about two hrs afterwards.

Milo Djukanovic, the incumbent pro-Western president, has held major political posts in the region for 33 many years and is trying to find a different five-12 months time period.

His main opponents are Andrija Mandic, the head of the Democratic Front which favours closer ties with Serbia and Russia, and Jakov Milatovic, a pro-Western economist and the deputy head of the Europe Now movement.

If no prospect secures additional than 50% of votes, a next spherical of voting concerning the best two is scheduled for April 2.

Opponents accuse Djukanovic and his remaining-centrist Democratic Social gathering of Socialists (DPS) of corruption, back links to organized criminal offense, and of operating the state of some 620,000 people today as their own fiefdom – costs Djukanovic and his bash deny.

Today’s vote will come amid a yr-long political disaster marked by no-self confidence votes in two separate governments and a row concerning lawmakers and Djukanovic around the president’s refusal to name a new primary minister.

On Thursday Djukanovic dissolved the parliament and scheduled snap elections for June 11. A victory in the presidential election would bolster the chances of the winner’s party in the parliamentary vote.

“I am expecting individuals will open their eyes, …. that we will get started to go forward for a greater lifetime,” claimed Mirjana Aleksic, 53, from Podgorica following casting her ballot at a polling station in a local school.

About the decades, Montenegro has been divided involving individuals who discover as Montenegrins and individuals who see themselves as Serbs and opposed the country’s 2006 independence from a previous union with neighbouring and substantially greater Serbia.

The region, which mainly relies on revenues from its Adriatic tourism, joined Nato in 2017, subsequent a botched coup attempt a calendar year earlier that the government blamed on Russian brokers and Serbian nationalists. Moscow dismissed this sort of promises as absurd.

Adhering to the invasion of Ukraine last year, Montenegro joined EU sanctions in opposition to Russia. The Kremlin has placed Montenegro on its listing of unfriendly states. — Reuters