BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  World: Europe
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Friday, 19 April, 2002, 13:31 GMT 14:31 UK
Montenegro PM resigns
Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica
The new union deal is still being debated in Belgrade
The Prime Minister of Montenegro, Filip Vujanovic, has resigned amid a government crisis over a deal with Serbia to replace the Yugoslav federation with a loose union.

In a letter to the Montenegrin parliament, Mr Vujanovic said that he was returning his mandate to the president after unsuccessful attempts to save the coalition government.

Filip Vujanovic
Vujanovic: Government did everything possible
Several ministers from the pro-independence Liberal Alliance resigned from the coalition in protest at the EU-brokered deal with Serbia, signed last month.

This left the government without a parliamentary majority.

"I am convinced that under the existing conditions, the government has done the maximum possible," Mr Vujanovic said in his letter.

"Due to the fact that it no longer enjoys the support of the Liberal Alliance and thus a parliamentary majority, I am informing you that the conditions have been met to conclude that the government's mandate has expired."

Coalition talks

Mr Vujanovic's Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) is reported to be attempting to build a new coalition, in order to avoid calling new elections.

The accord signed last month by Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic, Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica and Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, proposes replace Yugoslavia with a new union called Serbia and Montenegro.

The Montenegrin and Serbian parliaments have approved the landmark accord.

The Yugoslav federal parliament has been debating it this week.

Referendum right

The EU sees the deal as a way of preventing, or at least postponing, further disintegration in the Balkans.

Either side has the right to hold a referendum on independence after three years, but pro-independence groups in Montenegro do not want to wait that long.

The future union would have a joint presidency, defence and foreign policies, but each republic would maintain separate economies, currencies and customs services.

In a letter to President Djukanovic on Friday, Mr Vujanovic condemned his former coalition partners for causing the crisis "without any sound reasons".

See also:

20 Mar 02 | Media reports
Balkan media divided on historic deal
Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories