Early results show Djukanovic sweeping Montenegro vote

Montenegro to elect new president on Sunday

Preliminary projections show six-time prime minister and onetime president Milo Djukanovic as the victor of Montenegro's presidential election.

Party leader Milos Nikolic said at the party's headquarters: "Djukanovic is the new president of Montenegro... there will be no second round". "I am appealing to opposition voters not to view this as a defeat but as a basis for further struggle".

The Balkan nation's ruling social democrat party declared its head Milo Djukanovic the victor after 90% of the votes were counted, winning 53% of the ballots. He also says he's proud of winning as many votes as he did: about 33 percent of the ballots, compared to Djukanovic's 54 percent.

If confirmed in the official vote count, the result will present a major boost for Djukanovic, who defied Russian Federation to take his country into North Atlantic Treaty Organisation a year ago.

Mladen Bojanic, the second ranked candidate supported by larger part of opposition parties, won 32 percent, while Draginja Vuksanovic from the Social-Democratic Party of Montenegro won 8 percent.

Because the military alliance was joined by Montenegro in December, the vote Sunday is your initial. Djukanovic challenger will be Mladen Bojanic, backed by resistance groups, for example types that are pro-Russian.

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Djukanovic is set to replace incumbent President Filip Vujanovic, whose mandate expires in May.

Djukanovic, who has previously served as president and prime minister, faced off several other candidates.

He was prime minister during a tense October 2016 parliamentary election when authorities said they thwarted a pro-Russian coup attempt created to prevent the country from joining North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Bojanic, an economic expert and former lawmaker, has accused the ruling party of corruption and links to organized crime following a spike in crime-related violence.

The 56-year-old Djukanovic and his party have ruled Montenegro for almost 30 years, leading the country to independence from Serbia and into North Atlantic Treaty Organisation despite strong opposition from traditional ally Russian Federation.

About 530,000 voters were eligible to vote in the election. The Kremlin has denied involvement.

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