By Samir Kajosevic
According to first exit polls based on 87.3 per cent of counted votes, the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS, won 34.8 per cent of votes cast, or 29 of the 81 seats in parliament in Sunday’s parliamentary elections.
The result put it fractionally ahead of the main opposition “For the Future of Montenegro” coalition, which won 32.8 per cent of the votes, or 27 seats. Another opposition coalition, “Peace is Our Nation”, won 12.5 per cent of the votes.
Of the other parties, the Black on White party won 5.7 per cent, the Social Democratic Party won 3.1 per cent, the Bosniak Party won 4.1 per cent, the Social Democrats 4.2 per cent and the Albanian coalition, 1.5 per cent.
The wafer-thin lead of the DPS sparked contrasting claims about who had won the vote and would get to form the next government.
However, DPS MP Nela Savkovic insisted the ruling party could form another administration with the help of its traditional political partners among the minority parties, which ran independently in the election. If they choose to join a DPS-led government, the party will be able to form a new government. “We are calling on citizens to stay at home and await the final results. Then we can celebrate victory together,” Savkovic told the media.
However, “For the Future of Montenegro” leader Zdravko Krivokapic said as that as far as he was concerned, Djukanovic’s regime had fallen and his team had won.
He called voters to stay at home. “Even though we have waited 45 years for our freedom, please stay at home and celebrate in dignity with you friends and families,” Krivokapic told supporters.
Local watchdogs spotted more than 770 irregularities in Sunday’s vote. The Centre for Democratic Transition, CDT, recorded accusations of vote buying and political pressure on voters. The Centre for Monitoring and Research, CEMI, said that in polling stations in the capital Podgorica and in the town of Rozaje, voters were caught photographing their ballots. The State Electoral Commission, DIK, said three people had attacked a member of a voting station in the town of Niksic.
According to the CDT, the turnout for the elections was high at 75.9 per cent, when the polls closed at 8pm.