BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Europe
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Tuesday, 29 May, 2001, 12:18 GMT 13:18 UK
Montenegro agrees early breakaway vote
Man walks past pro-independence election posters
Public opinion is split on independence from Yugoslavia
Montenegro's moves towards breaking away from what is left of Yugoslavia have taken a significant step forward.

The republic's pro-independence coalition - which scraped to victory in April elections - has formed a minority government with the backing of a smaller, more radical separatist group.

As part of the deal, Montenegro will have to hold a referendum on independence within eight months.

President Milo Djukanovic
Djukanovic: Not the victory he hoped for
A "yes" vote would sound the final death knell for Yugoslavia, leaving Serbia as the federation's sole member.

But correspondents say public opinion is sharply divided on independence.

Campaigners predicted ahead of April's election that they would win a decisive pro-independence mandate. In the event, the pro-independence coalition won only a narrow majority.

Instability fears

Western governments have warned against independence, fearing more instability in the region.

Under the deal now reached, the radical Liberal Alliance will support the moderate separatist coalition, Victory is Montenegro's, in exchange for a quick vote on secession - probably by next January.

The Liberals will also hold the position of Speaker in the Montenegrin parliament.

Supporter of pro-Yugoslav coalition Together for Yugoslav
Pro-Yugoslav parties performed well in April's poll
As the deal was announced, a delegation of Yugoslav Government officials was meeting Montenegro's anti-independence parties to discuss ways of maintaining a common state.

Belgrade wants the Montenegrins to discuss ways of changing the alliance, rather than ending it.

The deal with the Liberals is seen as a victory for President Milo Djukanovic, who had earlier rejected Liberal demands to be granted ministerial posts.

The election left his coalition with 36 out of 77 seats. The main pro-Yugoslav bloc won 33 seats, and the Liberals won six. The final two went to ethnic Albanian parties.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

23 Apr 01 | Europe
Montenegro: Which way now?
23 Apr 01 | Europe
Uphill struggle to secede
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories