Saturday, May 20, 2006

Montenegro counts down to historic independence vote

Final preparations are under way ahead of a landmark referendum on Montenegro's independence as leaders urged rival supporters to accept the result peacefully.

The referendum on Montenegro's independence from a federation with Serbia could be the final act in the dissolution of former communist Yugoslavia, four of whose six republics broke away in a series of 1990s wars.

"All technical preparations for the vote on Sunday have been completed," the chairman of the referendum commission, Slovak diplomat Frantisek Lipka, told local television.

Ballot papers had been printed and were due to be distributed to the 1,117 polling stations across the tiny republic before voting opens at 8:00 am (0600 GMT) on Sunday, Lipka said.

In the referendum, some 485,000 voters will be asked to choose "Yes" or "No" in answer to the question: "Do you want Montenegro to be an independent state with full international and legal legitimacy?"

As a ban on campaigning remained in force for a second day, leaders of the republic's pro-independence government and pro-Serbian opposition appealed to their supporters to accept the result "with dignity in both victory and defeat," local newspapers reported.

The daily Dan quoted Predrag Popovic of the pro-union bloc as saying "the camp that loses should concede the defeat, congratulate the winner and urge its supporters to behave correctly.

"The side that wins must do its utmost to prevent their celebrations from turning into a conflict with the other supporters," he added.

Predrag Sekulic of the pro-independence bloc sent a similar message.

"I hope that whoever wins, that we will extend a hand to each other and continue working together for the good of all citizens of Montenegro," he said.

Montenegro has been deeply divided over the issue for several years, but the European Union has been heavily involved in setting the conditions for the vote, whose campaign has been free of any major incidents.

Recent opinion polls have highlighted the split, with an estimated 56 percent in favour of forming their own country.

According to EU-set rules, independence will succeed if at least half of the eligible voters turn out and 55 percent or more of them support it.

"I hope everything will be fine and we stay together," said 34-year-old Podgorica resident Savo Pejovic, adding he was afraid of "unrest among people if Montenegro separates".

A 38-year-old salesman, Slavoljub, who preferred not to reveal his surname said: "All other former Yugoslav nations have their state -- Macedonians, Bosniaks, Slovenians, Croats -- so why shouldn't Montenegro?".

Radovan, 48, said he would vote for independence for "a thousand reasons."

"We want to have our own house, to live alone. We wish the best relations with Serbia, but to be alone, it's better. Europe will easier accept us that way," he said.

Montenegro and Serbia formed in 2003 a loose union that replaced rump Yugoslavia, but either side was allowed to get out of it after a three-year probation period that expired earlier this year.

A strained relationship between Podgorica and Belgrade has gradually worsened as the government of veteran Montenegrin leader Milo Djukanovic pushed for independence.

Polling stations will close at 9:00 pm (1900 GMT) on Sunday, with pollsters expecting to offer their estimate of the outcome soon after. The official results of the referendum are not expected until Monday.


Bg anon said...

I think Probably more accurate to write 'Countdown to Montenegro independence vote' or 'Countdown to Montenegro referedum' in the headline.

Mir said...

I think its probably more accurate to stick to stories about Kosovo instead of Serbia and Montenegro. It is called KOSOVAREPORT after all.

Kristian said...

I think that they should talk about stories of Antartica, but hey its the owner of the blog that decides and if he writes something about antartica i'd appreciate it.

Mir its choice and we should all be able to live with it. Don't you agree?

We are progressing towards a democracy I hope! Freedom of speech and opinion should be deeply rooted in that democracy. And also respect for someone's opinion even if they don't necessarily suit oneself.

redemption department said...

in my opinion, if one does not recognize the significance of Montenegro's upcoming referendum on Kosovo, then one should perhaps think a bit more inclusively about Balkan politics

Cvijus011 said...


"I think its probably more accurate to stick to stories about Kosovo instead of Serbia and Montenegro. It is called KOSOVAREPORT after all."

How don't you get it? It isn't about solidarity with the Montenegrins, or any democratic ideals, otherwise they would solidarize with the Greeks in northern Epirus. It is about the easiest way to take territories. You know that Djukanovic is a sellout, whose only holy thing is to stay in power and for the support of the albos he is ready to give everything they want. That's why here in Kosovareport they are so happy about Montenegro.

Dardania 2006 said...

Hmm I will tell you why we are happy that Montenegro goes independent:

Because they will be free from the whining of Serbs and the attitide of "we are brothers..sniff sniff...we cant separate".

Instead of crying about this, how about you prove to the world that Serbia is a state to be respected and leave everyone at peace for once in the history of your existence.

NYoutlawyer said...

Why don't albanians leave people at peace too? Why did they leave albania and move to Serbia? Now they want their independence. You fucking roaches should get a can of Raid, that's all!

Cvijus011 said...

dardania 2006,

I remember quite clearly when Djukanovic was whining of Serbs and Montenegrins are brothers but they have to be independent.

For all I'm concerned, and the all Serbs that I know, I'm very happy that the Montenegrins will become independent and simply our pain in the ass decided to leave by itself. I thank them from the bottom of our hearts. I had it enough that 600k highlanders blackmail 8mil Serbs.


NYoutlawyer said...

Now if we could free ourselves from the cockroach albanians in kosovo. But it will be hard, cockroaches know no boundries.

Cvijus011 said...


with insecticide of course.

Chris Blaku said...

There was minimal movement from Albanians into modern Kosova when compared to the government sponsored colonization of the province in the early 20th century. The reality is, unfortunately for you, that you are guests on Albanian land, and regardless of the countless measures you take to prove anything to the contrary, you remain without any solid historical precedent to declare Kosova to be your territory, aside from illegitimate invasion. Despite the rantings of your delusional priests and long refuted historians, you fail to see this most obvious reality.

ANYC said...

These serbs have been livin on the Matrix for a long time now. There has been a vail of lies and deceptions put in front of them to believe things that never were. Free your mind serbs - you are nothing but hords of barbarians that came to Balkans and enslaved it (no pun intended). And noone wants to stay with you, not even your closest brethern-now thats a cocoroach.
Remember the truth shall set you free.

Mir said...

"The reality is, unfortunately for you, that you are guests on Albanian land"

The REALITY is that between 1389, until the Balkan Wars Kosovo was never once a land that belonged to the nation of Albania or Illyria or 'Dardania' or whatever bullshit you call it. The region was controlled by the Ottomans. When they were driven out of the Balkans and people took a look at the history books to repair their borders, the last time Kosovo belonged to a real country was 1389 and it was the Serbian empire's. And today much of the infrastructure that Kosovo still has was built by Yugoslavians not Albanians.

But saying that Kosovo deserves to belong to one side because of ancient HISTORY is a bit stupid, wouldnt you say?