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Montenegro's longtime leader poised for re-election

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Montenegro's longtime leader poised for re-election

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He has dominated political life in his homeland for two decades. And, as he voted today, Montenegro’s leader Milo Djukanovic could have every confidence that power will remain in his hands.

Opinion polls predict the prime minister’s pro-European coalition will win nothing short of an outright majority in the early parliamentary poll. He has called for a fresh mandate to help steer Montenegro’s bid for EU membership. The Balkan country’s strategic goal is achieving European living standards for its people, according to the premier. Trailing in the polls, Andrija Mandic’s New Serb Democracy party wants to strengthen ties with Belgrade. It is three years since Montenegro ended its loose union with Serbia. Some 1,200 local and international observers are monitoring the vote. Only a handful of minor irregularities have been reported. The government’s critics claim it brought the poll forward to secure re-election before the global financial crisis really begins to bite in Montenegro. Tourism is crucial to the Adriatic nation’s economy and many are predicting a difficult summer season.