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Pro-Western Djukanovic sweeps back into power in Montenegro

AFP  |  Podgorica 

Political heavyweight Milo Djukanovic, bidding to take into the European Union, swept back into power in yesterday's after a two-year absence.

The led to independence from in 2016 and into NATO last year.

Djukanovic wants to develop the predominantly Orthodox country, a part of which has strong pro-sympathies, by joining the EU.

His (DPS) announced victory after the first round of voting and the leading challenger accepted defeat.

"Djukanovic is the new of .. there will be no second round," DPS told journalists at party headquarters.

The independent (CEMI) said the six-time former had garnered 53.5 per cent of the vote with two thirds of ballots counted.

Earlier test polling by CEMI, which is tasked with releasing the first results, gave his main rival, Mladen Bojanic, 34.1 per cent.

Bojanic quickly conceded saying, "Montenegro has chosen what it has chosen." Having dominated in the former Yugoslav republic for nearly 25 years, Djukanovic stepped down as in October 2016. He announced his comeback last month.

The 56-year-old is expected to transform the presidency, previously a ceremonial post held by his ally Filip Vujanovic, into the real seat of power in the country of 620,000 people.

Djukanovic was the most high-profile of the seven candidates, with posters plastered all over the capital Podgorica -- where a third of Montenegro's population lives -- proclaiming him as "leader, statesman and of all citizens".

"I will win today," Djukanovic had said after voting.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 16 2018. 02:25 IST