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Montenegro heads to the polls on Sunday

For the presidential elections, Djukanovic and Mandic favourites

18 March, 10:55
(ANSA-AFP) - PODGORICA, MAR 18 - Montenegrins were due to go to the polls, scheduled for Sunday, to pick a president, a vote in which veteran leader Djukanovic is one of seven candidates.

Since 2020 parliamentary elections in which his Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) suffered a historic defeat by a Church-backed coalition, the Adriatic country's political turmoil has worsened. Two governments have collapsed since, the last one in August that nonetheless stayed on, kicking off a wave of protests and calls for a snap election. Although Montenegro's president has a largely ceremonial role, analysts see Sunday's vote as a potential turning point in the country's political woes. Djukanovic, the architect of Montenegro's independence from Serbia in 2006, remains the favourite.

However, the 61-year-old will face strong competition notably from the pro-Russian Democratic Front's Andrija Mandic. The other two main rivals are Jakov Milatovic -- a young economist from the increasingly popular Europe Now Movement -- and the leader of the centre-right Democrats. If no candidate secures more than 50 percent of the vote a run-off will be held on April 2, which is a likely outcome. The country of 620,000 people, a third of whom identify as Serbs, is a NATO member and aspires to join the European Union. (ANSA-AFP).

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