International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Vujanovic Starts Third Term as Montenegro President

Filip Vujanovic, from the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, started his third presidential term amid protests by people who still contest the legality of his election win.
Podgorica Vujanovic was inaugurated President of Montenegro for a third time at a ceremony on Monday at the government house in the old royal capital of Cetinje.

His victory in the presidential election on April 7 remains disputed by some. The largest opposition formation, the Democratic Front, argues that its own leader, Miodrag Lekic, who ran as an independent, won a majority of votes.

Due to the contested outcome of the presidential vote, no opposition representative attended the ceremony in Cetinje.

A Facebook group meanwhile urged people to rally under the name of "March against the mafia" and walk from Podgorica to Cetinje in protest over alleged election fraud.

"We do not accept election fraud, we do not accept the unconstitutional President, we do not accept the Mafia," the Facebook group said.

The marchers left Podgorica at 5am on Monday and reached Cetinje in the afternoon, chanting "thieves, thieves" when Vujanovic appeared.

Vujanovic has been already appointed head of the state twice, in 2003 and in 2008.

The 2007 constitution says the same head of state can be elected only twice, but the Constitutional Court ruled that his candidacy was legal since the country only regained independence in 2006. Thus, Vujanovic is only now starting his second full term as president of an independent country.

The ceremony took place night before a national holiday, which commemorates the restoration of Montenegrin independence in 2006.

In a referendum on May 21, 2006, 55.5 per cent of eligible voters opted to separate from the loose State Union with Serbia. 
Milena Milosevic

Source: www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/vujanovic-inaugurated-as-montenegro-s-new-old-president



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