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Montenegro: Djukanovic's Bloc Holds Narrow Lead


Podgorica, 23 April 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic says he wants to build a government committed to an independent state after yesterday's parliamentary election in which his coalition is projected to score a narrow victory. Early this morning in Podgorica, Djukanovic addressed supporters from his pro-independence Victory is Montenegro's (VM), saying it had achieved "a difficult and important" triumph.

With 65 percent of votes counted, Djukanovic's bloc is leading with a little under 44 percent of the vote. The state electoral commission says the anti-independence Together for Yugoslavia bloc is trailing with slightly less than 40 percent. Western news agencies say several local monitoring agencies predict a narrow victory for Djukanovic's bloc.

The Montenegrin leader made clear he now favors forming an alliance with smaller pro-independence parties. Djukanovic said parties favoring independence will have 44 out of the 77 seats in the new parliament.

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