Presidential elections held on Montenegro on Sunday 19th March threaten to unseat the small Balkan nation’s long-time leader, Milo Djukanović. Though Djukanović indisputably received the highest share of votes, the contest will go to a second-round runoff, which is being built-up as a referendum on his three decades-long rule.
The election result provided few surprises; all pre-election polling suggested the incumbent President would receive the most votes, but not pass the 50% mark required to secure another 5-year term as Head of State. The main unknown heading into the election was over who would join Djukanović in the second round, with 37-year-old former economy minister Jakov Milatović now emerging as a credible challenger.
The second round will be held on 2 April and judging by pre-election commitments made by almost all presidential contenders (with the exception of Montenegrin nationalist candidate Draginja Vuksanović-Stanković), Milatović will receive widespread support from across the political spectrum in what is likely to be an historic runoff which could mark the departure of Europe’s longest-serving ruler.
Below, Aretera provides further insight into the first round of the presidential elections, with implications for the runoff vote.