Montenegro’s Djukanovic confident of first-round victory in presidential election

Montenegro’s Djukanovic confident of first-round victory in presidential election
By bne IntelliNews March 20, 2018

Milo Djukanovic, Montenegrin veteran politician and leader of the long-ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, is confident that he will win in the first round of the April 15 presidential election. 

Djukanovic has finally confirmed that he will be the party’s candidate in the coming election. His decision leaves little hope for the opposition to win. His party has not lost elections in more than 25 years and polls show a victory for Djukanovic is the most likely outcome.

“I […] am confident that I’ll win in the first round of election and in this way save energy for new challenges,” RTCG quoted Djukanovic as saying on March 19 after his candidacy was formally confirmed.

Following the October 2016 general election, Djukanovic stepped down, and Dusko Markovic, also from the DPS, took over as prime minister. At the time, there were rumours that Djukanovic had given up trying to form a government in order to run for president – a position he previously held between 1998 and 2002.

His candidacy seemed the most obvious choice as he is very popular in Montenegro and can easily beat Mladen Bojanic, the recently announced candidate of Montenegro’s united opposition.

According to a poll by CEDEM, if Djukanovic runs for president, he would gain 39.7% of the votes. The second most popular candidate was Aleksa Becic, the leader of the opposition Democratic Montenegro party.

The poll — carried out before Bojanic was selected — also showed that if the opposition unites and supports a common candidate for president it would have much better chance of competing with Djukanovic. However, even in that case Djukanovic would get more votes (34.3% versus 28.8% for the opposition’s candidate).

Djukanovic has announced twice before that he would step down and retire from politics – in 2006 and 2010. Both times he had two-year breaks, but returned to politics. He formally retired in October 2016 as well, but remained the DPS's leader.

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