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Montenegro: President dissolves parliament ahead of election

PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — Montenegro’s president, who is running for reelection this weekend, dissolved parliament Thursday, paving the way for an early parliamentary election in the near future.

President Milo Djukanovic issued a decree dissolving parliament three months after Montenegro’s government fell in a no-confidence vote and after lawmakers failed to elect a new one.

Djukanovic is expected to set a date for the early election on Friday.

Montenegro is holding its presidential election on Sunday. Analysts predict the voting will not produce a clear winner and that the pro-Western incumbent will face one of several challengers in a runoff two weeks later.

His opponents include candidates from several parties in a pro-Serbia alliance.

Djukanovic and his Democratic Party of Socialists led Montenegro to independence from Serbia in 2006 and into NATO in 2017. But faced with corruption allegations, the party lost a 2020 parliamentary election to an alliance of parties seeking closer relations with Serbia and Russia.

The ruling coalition has since been in disarray, creating a political stalemate which stalled Montenegro’s bid to join the European Union.

Predrag Milic, The Associated Press