Elections in Montenegro, Jakov Milatovic elected president

After more than thirty years, the Djukanovic era ends. Jakov Milatovic, a 36-year-old economist, is the new president of Montenegro. Victory in the ballot where Milatovic beat Djukanovic, the “grand old man” of Montenegrin politics, who ruled the country’s fortunes with two terms as president and covering the office of head of government seven times. The data – still preliminary – released by the two main institutes for opinion poll studies and research, CeMI and Cdt, assign percentages of around 60% to Milatovic, compared to the approximately 40% that went to Djukanovic, who was aiming for a third term, but instead had to admit the defeat.

“Europe’s Last Dictator”

Milatovic’s victory is the confirmation that something is changing. The new phase had already been felt in the last elections in August 2020 when Djukanovic’s Democratic Socialist Party (DPS) had been defeated, going into opposition for the first time in the last thirty years of uninterrupted power. Milatovic in a televised duel had addressed the former president as “the last European dictator”, accusing him of having contributed to the spread of corruption and crime and promising a “new page for Montenegro” if he managed to “send him into retirement”. The desire for change and turning point in a country adrift weighed on the outcome of the challenge, so much so that Milatovic himself had the support of all the other five candidates competing in the first round of the presidential elections on 19 March, lined up in block against Djukanovic.