Montenegro votes in presidential election, Đukanović expected to win

Voters in Montenegro are casting their ballots in a presidential election that the former prime minister Milo Đukanović is expected to win after his party defied Russia and took the small Balkan country  last year.

The vote is the first since Montenegro joined the western military alliance in December. It is seen as a test for Đukanović, who favors European integration over closer ties to its traditional ally Moscow.

Đukanović, the country’s dominant politician, and his Democratic Party of Socialists have ruled Montenegro for nearly 30 years. The outgoing president, Filip Vujanović, is not running, due to term limits.

About 530,000 voters can choose between several candidates in the country on the Adriatic Sea. Đukanović’s main challenger is Mladen Bojanić, who is backed by several opposition groups, including pro-Russian parties.

Polls suggest the 56-year-old Đukanović could win more than half of the votes on Sunday and avoid a runoff.