Just two days ahead of a historic vote, both sides are expressing confidence they will score victory in Sunday’s referendum on independence in Montenegro. The ballot has prompted rallies on both sides – the latest gathering drew tens of thousands of people to Podgorica’s main square to support prime minister Milo Djukanovic’s quest for independence. Montenegro is currently part of the state of Serbia and Montenegro. It was the smallest republic in the former Yugoslavia.
Djukanovic told Montenegrins a yes vote would bring faster integration to the European Union: “I am convinced that Montenegro will be an independent state on Monday, and a stable state thanks to a democratic referendum. We will have a clearer perspective of European integration because it will depend entirely on us, which wasn’t the case until now.” A “Yes” vote would seal the final dissolution of the former Yugoslavia.
While some surveys put the pro-independence camp slightly ahead, others say the outcome remains too close to call. Whatever the result, the European Union – which fears instability if the vote is too close – says negotiations will be needed to finalise the detailed political outcome.