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Thousands back opposition call for Montenegro govt to quit

Thousands back opposition call for Montenegro govt to quit Thousands back opposition call for Montenegro govt to quit

Around 3,000 people rallied in the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica on Sunday to back an opposition call for the left-wing government of Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic to resign, AFP reports.

The main opposition party in the tiny Adriatic nation is demanding the installation of a transitional government charged with organising "genuine elections" which the opposition alleges has not been the case to date.

"We do not want to take power from the street, but we want genuine elections," said Andrija Mandic, a senior opposition leader.

"We will mount a long-term struggle that has only just begun."

Gathered outside parliament and in full view of a large police presence, the demonstrators waved Montenegrin flags and placards that read, "Resign" and "Down with the thieves".

Opposition leaders called for protesters to stay on the streets until the government resigned, a demand heeded by about 200 of the demonstrators, some of whom even put up tents.

Djukanovic, 53, has been at the centre of power in the Balkan country since the early 1990s, and won re-election as premier in 2012 elections, marking the third time he has held the post since independence in 2006, when the country broke up a loose union with neighbouring Serbia. He was previously president of Montenegro between 1998 and 2002.

The next set of parliamentary polls are due early next year.

The country, with a population of about 630,000, has an unemployment rate of about 20 percent.

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