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Second round will take place in Montenegro, where a change of presidency is expected
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Második forduló Second round
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In the second round of Montenegro’s presidential election, incumbent Milo Đukanović and former Economy Minister Jakov Milatović will face off. They secured the top two spots in the first round, where votes were significantly divided among the top four candidates, while the bottom three candidates together barely managed to scrape five percent. The second round will be held on April 2nd. One Montenegrin news portal has already suggested that the incumbent president will be running a victory lap in the second round. Indeed, Đukanović has slim chances of ultimate victory, especially since he represents the past against the future in April.

The national topic may take a back seat

After counting all the votes, the Montenegrin Election Commission announced the unofficial results of the presidential election, indicating that there will be a second round on April 2nd.

According to the final data, incumbent Milo Đukanović won 35.2 percent of the votes, while Jakov Milatović, the founder of the liberal Europe Now movement, finished second with 29.2 percent of the votes.

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“We will succeed” – claims Jakov Milatović, who is in the second round and has a good chance of taking the final victory (Source: Twitter, Jakov Milatović)

This second place indicates that voters turned towards their wallets and did not forget that Milatović was the former Economy Minister of the previous government, during which time the minimum wage increased from 220 to 450 euros.

Based on the results, it can be inferred that economic issues will dominate the presidential election campaign leading up to the second round, as Andrija Mandić, who represents Serbian national interests, only finished third with 19.3 percent.

Centrist Aleksa Bečić finished fourth with 10.9 percent, while the other three candidates only managed to collect a combined 5.4 percent of the votes.

Đukanović is almost hopeless

According to the numbers and the political sentiment in Montenegro. It is clear that he has almost no chance of winning the second round, meaning he will not be able to hold the presidency for a third five-year term.

The Vijesti Montenegrin news portal went so far as to call the April 2nd second round a tribute to Đukanović, indicating that the current president, who has been an unavoidable political figure for the past three decades, will most likely retire from public life, or at least from the top tier.

This is also evident from the fact that Milatović, who came in second, gained a significant advantage in Montenegro’s capital, Podgorica, with 7,300 more votes than the current president.

At first glance, this may not seem like a lot, but Montenegro is a small country, so small numbers can make a big difference. Milatović received 37,743 votes, while Đukanović received only 30,447, which is a roughly 20 percent advantage.

It is clear that government officials generally perform worse in larger cities than in rural areas, but this alone would not necessarily predict a defeat.

However, looking at the distribution of votes, it is evident that Đukanović has lost his support base and has no significant reserves for the second round.

The voter base slipped away from under him

One could say that the current president’s voter base slipped away from under him. Montenegrin society is finally “ripe” to replace Đukanović, who is considered a vestige of the communist era, and thereby not only bring about a political but also a generational change.

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The current Montenegrin president may be forced to leave (Source: Facebook, Milo Đukanović) 

Milatović, who gained experience at American and other foreign universities, has a strong advantage due to his good relationships with Montenegrin Serbs. This is because he served as minister in the government of the Serbian-born Zdravko Krivokapić, who reigned for a year and a half between 2020 and 2022.

It is no wonder that Andrija Mandić, who represented the Serbian-speaking Democratic Front and came in third place, has already announced that he will support Milatović in the second round of voting.

-Without the support of the Democratic Front, Milatović has no chance in the second round… Tonight, on behalf of the Democratic Front, I fully support Milatović, and I call on all Montenegrin citizens to support him

said Mandić, who represents the decisive Serbian-speaking population. These are strong words that suggest Đukanović is already dancing his swan song in the second round.

Although Mandić added that he does not believe Milatović is the best candidate, he believes that “the candidate who Montenegro’s majority must line up behind.”

– This is our duty, we have been fighting against Đukanović for 25 years

Második forduló

Serbian Andrija Mandić, who aimed to represent both the future and tradition, was able to secure only the third place

said the Montenegrin- Serb politician, who believes that the primary goal is to remove Đukanović from the presidency, which can now be achieved by Milatović.

Considering that a significant portion of the voter base for centrist Aleksa Bečić, who came in fourth place, will likely also vote against Đukanović, it is accurate to say that the first round of the presidential election marks the beginning of the end for the current Montenegrin president. Đukanović’s last noteworthy move was to call for parliamentary elections on June 11, which will likely dig the grave for his own party.

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