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Hindustan Times: Montenegro's ruling coalition wins election

Published date: 13.09.2006 13:05 | Author: Kliping inostranih medija

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Montenegro's ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic won weekend general elections, the first after the tiny Balkan state gained independence in June, officials said on Wednesday.

Djukanovic's pro-Europe coalition will have 41 deputies in the 81-seat assembly. The second strongest force in the parliament was a new group of Serb parties that won 12 seats, Slobodan Dragovic of the electoral commission said.

The main opposition bloc led by Predrag Bulatovic's pro-Serbian Socialist People's Party were the big losers, scoring only 11 seats compared to 26 in the previous assembly, he added.

The Movement for Change, a non-governmental organization-turned-party, would have 11 seats.

Three ethnic Albanian parties would have one deputy each, while the coalition grouping Liberaland Muslim party would have three seats in the future parliament.

Turnout was 71.37 per cent.

The results would be deemed official after September 20, following an appeal period, Dragovic said.

The results showed that Montenegro, with a population of only 650,000, is steering a course toward the European Union by supporting the staunchly pro-West Djukanovic, the longest-serving politician in all of the six former communist Yugoslav republics.

"By giving an absolute majority to Djukanovic's coalition, the voters showed they were confident that it was only him who could lead them towards the EU," analyst Srdjan Darmanovic said.