Serbs and Montenegrins protest against autocratic rulers

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Thousands of people have rallied in Serbia and Montenegro to demand the resignations of their autocratic leaders over allegations of corruption and the lack of democratic freedoms.

Some 10,000 demonstrated Saturday against long-serving Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic in the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica, and several thousand others marched in Belgrade against Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

Djukanovic and his party have ruled Montenegro virtually unchallenged for three decades. He led the country to independence from much larger Serbia in 2006 and defied Russia to join NATO in 2017.

In Serbia, the protesters have for months been urging more democracy in the country that is firmly under control of populist leader Vucic, a former nationalist who says he wants to lead the country into the European Union.

Both Vucic and Djukanovic have rejected calls to resign.

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