Montenegro’s Elections Could Close the Book on the Djukanovic Era

Montenegro’s Elections Could Close the Book on the Djukanovic Era
Milojko Spajic, president of the centrist Europe Now party, speaks after parliamentary elections in Podgorica, Montenegro, June 11, 2023 (AP photo by Risto Bozovic).

The small Balkan nation of Montenegro appears to have reached a turning point. On Sunday, exhausted Montenegrins went to the polls yet again in an election that was remarkable in part for who was not a candidate. For the first time in more than 30 years, Milo Djukanovic—the country’s dominant political figure who has served multiple times as both president and prime minister—was not on the ballot.

But despite that notable change, Montenegro’s road to political stability and European Union accession looks rocky.

The top finisher on Sunday was the centrist Europe Now Movement, or ES, with 26 percent of the vote, according to preliminary figures. It came in just ahead of Djukanovic’s Democratic Party of Socialists, or DPS, which took 24 percent of the vote.

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