Borrell, Montenegro’s vote was adequately managed but with some problems – Europe

BRUSSELS, April 4 – Montenegro’s presidential election, which saw economist Jakov Milatović triumph over the country’s outgoing president, Milo Djukanovic, has been “generally adequately managed”, but important issues still need to be addressed given June’s vote to renew Parliament. This is the main message contained in a joint note by the EU High Representative, Josep Borrell, and European Commissioner for Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi, after the presidential elections in Montenegro.

Borrell and Varhelij Milatović congratulated him on his election as the new president of Montenegro, and urged the Montenegrin authorities to focus on “urgent rule of law reforms identified by the European Commission in the latest enlargement report.”. Overall, “the elections were adequately managed,” although the legal framework for the elections, particularly with regard to campaign financing, presents “many loopholes and ambiguities that undermine their effectiveness,” the memorandum states, citing preliminary findings regarding joint observation. Elections are the mission of the OSCE/ODIHR, the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

These critical issues, along with the media’s exposure to “internal and external influences” – the memorandum concludes – must be “addressed as soon as possible, as the country prepares for general elections”.

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