Montenegrins head to polls for presidential runoff
Updated 16:56, 02-Apr-2023

Voters in Montenegro will cast their ballots in a presidential runoff election on Sunday between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. local time (0500-1800 GMT).

Voters will choose between incumbent Milo Djukanovic and former economic development minister Jakov Milatovic, after no candidate garnered a first-round majority in March.

The first unofficial results, based on a sample of the electorate, are expected approximately two hours after the polls close.

Djukanovic, 61, has dominated Montenegro as president or prime minister for 33 years, since the start of the collapse of the now-defunct federal Yugoslavia. He led Montenegro to independence from a state union with much larger Serbia in 2006 and to NATO membership in 2017. The country is also a candidate to join the European Union.

Milatovic, 37, is the deputy head of the Europe Now movement that has pledged to curb graft, improve living standards and bolster ties with the European Union and Serbia.

Djukanovic wound up with 35.37 percent of the vote in the first round of the election on March 19 while Milatovic got 28.92 percent, necessitating a run-off because neither garnered a 50-percent majority. The runoff is expected to be a tight race.

(With input from Reuters)

(Cover: An election official checks the documents of a Montenegrin voter at a polling station during the presidential election in Podgorica, on March 19, 2023. /CFP)

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