Montenegro president accepts his party lost election

*They say they would continue Montenegro’s bid to join EU. PODGORICA, Sept 3- Montenegro’s president, Milo Djukanovic, says his pro-Western party is ready to go into opposition after three decades in power if three political alliances can form a coalition following their success in a parliamentary election. The DPS and Djukanovic, steered Montenegro through…

* Three-opposition alliances hope to form government

* They say they would continue Montenegro’s bid to join EU

* Pro-western Djukanovic has ruled since 1990

PODGORICA, Sept 3 (Reuters) – Montenegro’s president, MiloDjukanovic, says his pro-Western party is ready to go intoopposition after three decades in power if three politicalalliances can form a coalition following their success in aparliamentary election.

In a transcript of an interview with Austria’s ORF TV,Djukanovic said the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) wouldaccept that the three opposition alliances jointly secured amajority of 41 deputies in the tiny Balkan country’s 81-seatparliament on Sunday.

“We are ready to accept this election outcome (and) to be aresponsible (and) the strongest opposition party,” Djukanovicsaid in the interview aired on Wednesday. A transcript of theinterview was published on the presidential website on Thursday.

“We will see whether this … tripartite coalition … canreally … form the government,” Djukanovic said.

The DPS and Djukanovic, steered Montenegro through theviolent collapse of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, thedissolution of a state union with Serbia and accession to NATO.

Djukanovic faces re-election in 2023, but opposition leadershave urged him to resign before his mandate ends.

The three opposition alliances have said they are ready toform a government and that they would continue Montenegro’s bidto join the European Union. They would have three months to forma government after the creation of a new parliament.

The final preliminary vote count by the State ElectionCommission gave DPS 35.06% of the vote on Sunday. The finalofficial result is expected in the coming days.

An alliance of Serb nationalist parties named For the Futureof Montenegro, which wants closer ties with Serbia and Russiaand is backed by the powerful Serbian Orthodox Church, won32.55% of the vote.

A centre-right grouping, Peace is Our Nation, which is alsoopposed to Djukanovic’s DPS, secured 12.53%. Another allianceled by the green URA party won 5.53% of votes.

Opposition leaders, and democracy and human rightswatchdogs, have long accused Djukanovic and his party of runningMontenegro as their own corrupt fiefdom with links to organisedcrime. The DPS and Djukanovic deny the charges.(Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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