Montenegrin presidential election, 1997

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First round
Dark Blue: Momir Bulatovic absolute majority
Light Blue: Momir Bulatovic relative majority
Red: Milo Djukanovic absolute majority
Second round
Blue: Momir Bulatovic
Red: Milo Djukanovic

Presidential elections were held in the Republic of Montenegro on 5 October 1997, with a second round run-off on 19 October. Although incumbent President Momir Bulatović, who was supportive of Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milošević,[1] received a plurality of the vote in the first round, he was defeated in the second round by Prime Minister Milo Đukanović.

Despite OCSE recognising the elections as being "generally fair",[2] Bulatović claimed the elections had been fraudulent and refused to recognise the result. Amid violent protests, Đukanović was sworn into office in January 1998.[3]

Background[edit]

Following a split in the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), both President Bulatović and Prime Minister Đukanović decided to contest the elections. However, article 5 of the electoral law restricted each party to nominating a single candidate. The Republican Election Commission allowed both candidates on the basis that Bulatović was a member of the party registered at the federal level, whilst Đukanović was a member at the Montenegrin level.[4]

Following a complaint from one faction of the DPS, the Constitutional Court overruled the REC on the basis that only parties registered in Montenegro could nominate candidates. Bulatović subsequently appealed to the Federal Constitutional Court. Although the court declined his appeal, it also abolished article 5 of the electoral law, allowing Bulatović to compete.[4]

The elections were boycotted by several opposition parties, including the People's Party, the Liberal Alliance, the Party of Democratic Action, the Democratic League, the Democratic Union of Albanians and the Social Democratic Party.[4]

Results[edit]

Candidate First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Momir Bulatović 147,610 47.44 169,257 49.20
Milo Đukanović 145,348 46.71 174,745 50.79
Other candidates 13,534 4.35
Total 306,492 100 344,002 100
Registered voters/turnout 68 73

References[edit]

  1. ^ Montenegro profile BBC News
  2. ^ Central and South-Eastern Europe, p327
  3. ^ Montenegro's new president sworn in CNN, 15 January 1998
  4. ^ a b c Republic of Montenegro Presidential Election OCSE