Podgorica, Montenegro (AP) – Montenegro’s longtime chief Milo Jokanovic’s crushing defeat in a presidential election over the weekend heralded his closing departure from the tiny Balkan state’s political stage after greater than 30 years in energy, analysts mentioned. mentioned on Monday.

Economist and political novice Jakov Milatovic received Sunday’s presidential election, defeating Jojukanovic, who received Montenegro independence from a lot bigger Serbia in 2006 and NATO membership in 2017 regardless of sturdy opposition from former Slavic ally Russia.

Based on dependable impartial pollsters, Milatović obtained roughly 60% of the vote. Djokovic has accepted defeat. The primary official outcomes are anticipated in a while Monday.

Milatović’s victory is believed to mirror voter fatigue with Jokanović—who has been twice president and 7 instances prime minister—in addition to disillusionment with established politicians. Though the presidency in Montenegro is basically a ceremonial workplace, it influences political developments in the nation.

Political scientist Ana Nenjić mentioned, “Jukanović is one of the longest-serving leaders in Europe and in the world.” “He has ruled longer than the Belarusian leader (Alexander) Lukashenko, which is strange in any democratic society… 32 years is too much for one country.”

Montenegrin political scientist Fedja Pavlović mentioned that Jokanović was “sent this time irreversibly into political retirement”.

It was Jokanovic’s first defeat in an election since first coming into politics in the previous Yugoslav republic in the early Nineteen Nineties. Throughout his a long time in workplace, the 61-year-old remodeled himself from a pro-Serbian communist to a pro-Western politician.

Milatovic, 36, entered politics for the primary time in 2020 after finishing his research in the UK and the US.

The outcomes of Sunday’s election are more likely to mirror the parliamentary vote scheduled for June 11. That vote was referred to as amid a months-long authorities deadlock that has blocked Montenegro’s upcoming EU membership and alarmed the West because the conflict in Ukraine rages on.

Though Milatović’s Europe Now group just isn’t formally a part of the nation’s governing coalition, his presidential bid has obtained help from an unstable coalition that features events advocating nearer ties with neighboring Serbia and Russia.

Milatovic has denied Jokanovic’s allegations that the ruling coalition is pushing Montenegro again underneath Serbian and Russian affect.

The nation of about 620,000 folks is deeply divided between those that take into account Montenegro a sovereign nation and about 30% of the inhabitants who take into account themselves Serbs.

Relations between Serbia and Montenegro deteriorated after Djokovic pulled the nation out of the Union of Serbia and later NATO. Throughout the election marketing campaign, Jokanovic mentioned that voters had a alternative between EU membership or becoming a member of the “Serbian world” – a duplicate of the “Russian world”.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic congratulated Milatović on his victory and mentioned: “You always have a reliable partner in Serbia.”

Throughout his tenure, Jokanovic and his social gathering officers had been usually accused of pressuring the judiciary to miss a number of instances of corruption and bribery. He has usually denied amassing an enormous fortune for himself and his household.

“End of an era: Milatović is president,” headlined the newspapers the day after the vote.

Podgorica resident Milena Perović mentioned, “There is no doubt that it was a historic date and event, the end of a political era, our political era under the leadership of Mr. Miloš Jokanović and his Democratic Socialist Party.”

Predrag Milik, The Related Press


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