Milo Djukanovic's DPS claims victory in Montenegro presidential election

Montenegro elections likely to mark closer relations with both Russia and the West

Preliminary projections show six-time prime minister and onetime president Milo Djukanovic as the victor of Montenegro's presidential election. Djukanovic oversaw Montenegro's application and invitation to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in 2016, to which pro-Russian Montenegrins reacted with a coup attempt before the legislative elections that year.

Veteran politician Milo Djukanovic steered to victory with 53.8 percent of the votes in according to a projection by the Centre for Monitoring and Research (CeMI).

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"Djukanovic is the new president of Montenegro. there will be no second round", DPS leader Milos Nikolic told journalists at party headquarters.

Previously served as prime minister and once as a president, 56-year-old Djukanovic is returning to active politics after a brief break.

Businessman Mladen Bojanic was projected for second place with 34.2 percent. It's considered a evaluation for Djukanovic, that favors integration within ties to ally Moscow.

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Djukanovic, the country's dominant politician, and his Democratic Party of Socialists have ruled Montenegro for almost 30 years. President Filip Vujanovic is maybe not running due to word limits.

Djukanovic was the most high-profile of the seven candidates, with posters plastered all over the capital Podgorica, where a third of Montenegro's population lives, proclaiming him as "leader, statesman and president of all citizens".

The country has also been marred by organized crime, with about 20 people killed by assassinations or vehicle bombs over the last two years.

Pro-Russian Marko Milacic, a candidate forecasted to win just three percent of the vote, accuses Djukanovic of being most responsible for the "situation in the country, from bloody streets to the foreign policy and a ruined economy". The average salary in Montenegro sits at around €500 ($615) and unemployment is more than 20 percent.

But for the 620,000 people in Montenegro, their votes may have been swayed by what work prospects are offered by the candidates rather than ties to the West or Russian Federation.

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