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Montenegro to hold early elections on Oct. 14

Montenegro's president has set early parliamentary elections for Oct. 14 so that a new government can handle talks to join the European Union.

EU officials opened entry negotiations with Montenegro in June. The process of joining the bloc usually lasts several years.

President Filip Vujanovic called the elections after ruling officials said Montenegro needs a stable government to carry out EU-requested reforms — as opposed to one nearing the end of its four-year term.

Prior to Tuesday's announcement, regular elections were to be held in 2013.

Montenegro's ruling Democratic Party of Socialists and allied groups are expected to win a comfortable majority in October.

Montenegro split from much larger Serbia in 2006. The tiny Adriatic nation of just over 600,000 also wants to join NATO.