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Incumbent declared winner in Montenegro election

PODGORICA, Montenegro — Incumbent Filip Vujanovic won Montenegro’s presidential election, despite the opposition’s assertion that its candidate was the winner, election authorities said Monday.

Opposition members have said they would not recognize Vujanovic’s victory in Sunday’s ballot, even if confirmed by the official election commission. If the opposition does that, it could throw the small Balkan nation into political turmoil and hinder its efforts of joining the European Union.

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Opposition official Goran Danilovic insisted that Miodrag Lekic won the vote for the influential but ceremonial position.

But the election commission said Vujanovic won 51.21 percent of the votes, compared with 48.29 percent for Lekic.

Drazen Medojevic, an opposition representative in the election commission, said Lekic’s camp ‘‘has disputed in full the election results and filed a request for a recount in all Montenegrin municipalities.’’

Vujanovic, who is backed by the government, was seeking his second presidential term since Montenegro gained independence in 2006. The 59-year-old law expert is a close ally of Montenegro’s powerful prime minister, Milo Djukanovic, and a strong advocate of Montenegro’s accession into the EU and NATO.

Montenegro, a nation of more than 600,000 people, is striving to join the European Union and opened entry talks last year. Any political instability in the country could slow the legislative and other reforms often required as a condition for membership in the regional bloc.

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