Montenegro’s opposition unite behind anti-Nato candidate ahead of presidential election

By bne IntelliNews March 13, 2018

Almost all opposition parties in Montenegro have agreed to back a single candidate for president in the April 15 election, hoping to mount a serious challenge to the still unknown candidate of the ruling party. However, Mladen Bojanic, who opposes the country’s Nato membership, was seen as a last-minute compromise by opposition parties.

According to a recent poll conducted by CEDEM, veteran politician Milo Djukanovic, the leader of the long-ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), has the highest chance of becoming Montenegro’s next president.

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, though the former president and former prime minister would most likely still win. 

After long and tense debates, opposition parties agreed to back Bojanic, who is a former MP and civil rights activist. The support for his candidacy came after months of disagreements between the opposition parties and some still believe that his nomination was a forced last ditch solution.

Bojanic was an opposition MP until 2016. He was one among those insisting that Montenegro should hold referendum on its Nato membership and is being believed to be close to the DF for his anti-Nato position.

Bojanic will be supported by the pro-Russian Democratic Front and by four pro-EU parties: Reform Action (URA), Demokratska Crna Gora (DCG), the Serb Peoples Party (SNS), and most likely by the newly-formed Ujedinjenje Party.

The Social Democratic Party (SDP), which was part of the ruling coalition for 18 years until 2016, will not support Bojanic, and has announced its own candidate, Draginja Vuksanovic.

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