Milo Djukanovic leads poll ahead of Montenegro’s presidential election

Milo Djukanovic leads poll ahead of Montenegro’s presidential election
By bne IntelliNews January 11, 2018

Veteran politician Milo Djukanovic has the highest chance of becoming Montenegro’s next president in the 2018 elections, a poll conducted by CEDEM showed on January 10.

Djukanovic’s ruling party, the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) has not lost elections in more than 25 years and Djukanovic is the most obvious choice for the coming race for the presidency. No other candidate is likely to beat him as the party has strong support.

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.

The veteran politician did not confirm the rumours at the time, but was quoted by local media at the end of 2017 as saying he would run for the post if the country needs him.

According to CEDEM’s poll, if Djukanovic runs for president, he would gain 39.7% of the votes, followed by Aleksa Becic, the leader of the opposition Democratic Montenegro party.

The poll 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, who has served as either prime minister or president for most of the last 25 years, 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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