PODGORICA (Reuters) -- Montenegrins were voting on March 29 for a government to take their Balkan country toward European Union membership and counter effects of the global crisis.
Following the 2006 election, political parties agreed to hold the next vote by the end of 2009, but the government moved it forward, saying the path to EU membership required a fully functioning government and parliament.
Opposition parties and analysts say the coalition also wanted to win reelection before the effects of the global recession worsen.
About 489,000 registered voters were eligible choose 81 lawmakers from among 16 political parties and coalitions, and first unofficial results were expected shortly after voting ended.
Balloting was to be monitored by 1,200 local and international observers.
Opinion polls put the Coalition For a European Montenegro led by Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic in the lead with more than 50 percent of votes, enough to rule alone.