In the referendum on independence held on 21 May, Montenegrins have voted to end their ties with Serbia and become an independent state. Of those who voted, 55.5 per cent chose independence, just barely over the 55 per cent agreed with the EU as the minimum requirement for the republic to secede from its federation with Serbia.
The turnout was 86.3 per cent, well above the 50 per cent required. Whilst all votes have now been counted, there is a period in which the results can be challenged and so the final result will be formally announced on Saturday 27 May.
The Prime Minister, Milo Djukanovic, and most ethnic Montenegrins and Albanians had supported independence, but it had been opposed by the large ethnic Serbian minority and the Orthodox church.
Montenegro was last an independent state between 1878-1918, when it became part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. It has a population of about 650,000.
23 May 2006