Montenegro votes to split from Serbia

Montenegro has narrowly voted in favour of independence in a referendum on ending its state union with Serbia, according to an unofficial projection of the result.

    An estimated 55.3% of voters chose independence

    The Centre for Free Elections and Democracy said the projected result was 55.3% in favour of independence, lower than an earlier projection of 56.3%, and just surpassing the 55% threshold required for the outcome to be validated.

    Waves of celebratory gunfire and fireworks thundered across the capital Podgorica moments after the unofficial result was broadcast and crowds of mostly young people rushed towards the main boulevards of the capital waving the red-and-gold flag of Montenegro and sounding their horns.

    But the anti-independence camp refused to concede defeat, saying the celebrations were premature.

    Turnout for the ballot was 88%, poll analysts said, a fact which would lend legitimacy to the process and to the creation of Europe's newest state and one of the smallest in terms of population.

    If upheld by official results due early on Monday, the outcome will dissolve a partnership with Serbia going back to 1918 in various forms.

    Montenegro would be the last of former Yugoslavia's six federal republics to part company with Serbia since 1991.

    The mountainous Adriatic republic has only 650,000 people but pro-independence leaders say it has a better chance of economic prosperity on its own than in a dysfunctional union with Serbia.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.