News / Europe

Montenegrin President Wins Third Term

Presidential candidate and Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic casts ballot at polling station in Podgorica, April 7, 2013.
Presidential candidate and Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic casts ballot at polling station in Podgorica, April 7, 2013.
Reuters
— Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic claimed a third term on Monday in the largely ceremonial post, but opposition allegations of election fraud could trigger instability in the tiny Adriatic republic seeking European Union membership.
 
Election authorities declared Vujanovic winner of a Sunday election, but the narrow margin of victory marked a blow for the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) after more than two decades in power.
 
The DPS's Vujanovic, president since 2003, took 51.2 percent of the vote, ahead of opposition challenger and former diplomat Miodrag Lekic on 48.8 percent, the state electoral commission said.
 
The results were preliminary pending possible challenges.
 
Sunday's vote ended in confusion, with both Vujanovic and Lekic claiming victory based on their own vote counts.
 
Lekic said he had won 50.5 percent to Vujanovic's 49.5 percent, and compared the incumbent's victory claim to a "coup d'etat."
 
Lekic's Democratic Front, the main opposition bloc, warned it would not accept a third term for Vujanovic.
 
The dispute looked set to usher in an unstable period for the former Yugoslav republic of 680,000 people, which became independent in 2006 and last year embarked on the long process of membership talks with the EU.
 
"It's clear that this is election fraud," Goran Danilovic, a senior Democratic Front official, told Reuters after the results were announced. "I guarantee we will not allow our victory to be taken from us, whatever it takes."
 
The bloc said it would freeze participation in all parliamentary working groups, a possible prelude to a full boycott of the assembly.
 
The president is largely a figurehead, with real power vested in the prime minister, DPS leader Milo Djukanovic.
 
But the tight race serves as a warning to the DPS, which has dominated Montenegro since federal Yugoslavia's early 1990s breakup and steered the country to independence in 2006 when it narrowly voted in a referendum to end an 88-year union with Serbia.
 
Analysts say an economic slump triggered by falling foreign investment, and persistent allegations of cronyism and corruption, have eaten into the party's support.
 
It won re-election in a parliamentary election in October last year, but without an outright majority.
 
The party said the announcement of the official results should end the controversy.
 
"It removes all doubt over who the citizens chose as president of Montenegro, and they chose Filip Vujanovic," party official Caslav Vesovic said.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid