Montenegro votes as veteran PM warns of anti-NATO threat


Podgorica—Montenegro began voting in parliamentary elections Sunday with opposition groups hoping to end the quarter-century rule of pro-Western premier Milo Djukanovic, who warns that his rivals would derail imminent NATO accession. Djukanovic, who led the small Balkan nation to independence from Serbia in 2006, has forged closer ties with Western countries, pursuing membership of both NATO and the European Union. But analysts say the prime minister—accused by critics of cronyism, corruption and links to organised crime—faces a tough challenge to form a stable government after Sunday’s election. Just over half a million citizens are eligible to vote at polling stations, which opened at 7am (0500 GMT) and were due to close at 8pm (1800 GMT). Djukanovic, who faced large anti-government rallies last year, has pitched the vote as a choice between ties with the West or with traditional Slavic ally Russia, whom he accuses of funding opposition parties. “Are we going to be part of developed European society or a Russian colony?” he asked supporters waving national red flags at his final rally in the capital.—APP