Montenegro’s former economy minister Jakov Milatovic has won the presidential election run-off against long-time incumbent Milo Djukanovic, ending over three decades of his rule in the small Balkan republic.
Milatovic, aged 37 and educated in the West, campaigned on promises of improving living standards, fighting corruption, and strengthening ties with Serbia and the European Union.
Supporters of his right-centrist Europe Now Movement celebrated his victory with honking car horns and fireworks, while Djukanovic, aged 61 and a former communist, conceded defeat.
Accused of corruption and ties to organised crime, he led Montenegro to independence from a state union with Serbia in 2006 and to NATO membership in 2017.
The country is a candidate to join the European Union. In spite of the largely ceremonial nature of the presidency, Milatovic’s victory may boost his party’s prospects in snap elections scheduled for June.