(MENAFN) On Sunday, March 19th, 2023, Montenegrin voters began casting their ballots in the country's eighth presidential election since transitioning to a multi-party system in 1990. Over 542,000 registered voters are eligible to cast a ballot in the Western Balkan nation. Seven candidates, including one woman, are competing for the next five-year term in the top office, with polls open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time (0600GMT).
The current president, Milo Djukanovic, of the Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro, is one of the favorites, along with right-wing Andrija Mandic of the Democratic Front. Other candidates include Draginja Vuksanovic-Stankovic of the Social Democratic Party, Aleksa Becic of Democratic Montenegro, Jakov Milatovic of Europe Now, Goran Danilovic of United Montenegro, and independent candidate Jovan Jodzir Radulovic.
Having served six times as prime minister and twice as president, Djukanovic, 61, is known for his pro-Western policy. Meanwhile, Mandic is strong among the country's Serb community and is expected to receive support from minority parties representing Bosniaks, Albanians, Croats, and Roma. In the previous 2018 elections, Draginja Vuksanovic-Stankovic of the Social Democratic Party made history as the first woman to run for president in Montenegro.
The outcome of this election will be a test of Montenegro's future policies, as the small NATO member's bid to join the European Union has been stalled due to a political stalemate. The results of this election will determine whether the Balkan country will align more closely with Serbia and Russia or continue to pursue a pro-Western policy.
MENAFN provides the information “as is” without warranty of any kind. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. If you have any complaints or copyright issues related to this article, kindly contact the provider above.