Montenegro: Djukanovic claims presidential victory

Djurica

Founded in Montenegro are casting ballots in a presidential elections, with Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic expected to win following this past year, his celebration defied Russian Federation and required the modest Balkan state into North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. The pro-European leader defied Russian Federation past year by taking the Balkan State into North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Veteran politician Milo Djukanovic steered to victory with 53.8 percent of the votes in according to a projection by the Centre for Monitoring and Research (CeMI).

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The Balkan nation's ruling social democrat party declared its head Milo Djukanovic the victor after 90% of the votes were counted, winning 53% of the ballots.

"Just as we said, we have received 54% of the vote in the first round of the election and left the other six candidates behind", Djukanovic said at his election headquarters.

Montenegro's presidency is a ceremonial post, but is expected to become the real seat of power in the country if 56-year-old Djukanovic is confirmed as the victor.

Businessman Mladen Bojanic was projected for second place with 34.2 percent.

Sunday's vote was seen as test for the long-time leader Djukanovic, who favors European integration over closer ties to Montenegro's traditional ally, Moscow.

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Djukanovic, the nation's dominating politician, along with his own Democratic Party of Socialists have ruled Montenegro for nearly 30 years.

If he wins the presidency, now a ceremonial post held by his ally Filip Vujanovic, it is expected to become the real seat of power in the country of 620,000 people.

He now plans to gain membership to the European Union.

Djukanovic is the best-known candidate in the race, with his campaign slogan declaring him a "leader, statesman and president of all citizens".

With Montenegro's average salary at around 500 euros ($615) and unemployment at over 20 percent, the debate over the West versus Russian Federation is not the main concern of many Montenegrins.

In the run-up to the vote, local newspapers have alleged electoral fraud, saying many dead people figured on voters' lists.

The issue of organised crime cast a shadow on the campaign, with some 20 people killed by assassination or auto bombs over the last two years.

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