Montenegro’s Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic appears headed for victory in the country’s first general election since declaring independence four months ago. Initial projections show his centre-left coalition has secured about 50 percent of the vote and is close to clinching 41 seats in the 81-seat parliament. The result leaves his chief rival and leader of the main Serb party, Predrag Bulatovic, trailing far behind with just eleven seats.
State officials say there have been no major voting irregularities reported. But monitoring groups say the turnout, at 70 percent, was below that for May’s referendum when the country chose to end nearly a century of partnership with Serbia. This election was widely seen as a test of Djukanovic’s popularity. He has been either president or prime minister of the mountainous Adriatic coast republic for the last 15 years.